China News Service, September 29. According to the "Europe Times" report, British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak recently announced a new "employment support program" to help alleviate unemployment caused by the epidemic.

Faced with the second outbreak of the British epidemic, the living conditions of Chinese small business owners and Chinese employees have been challenged again. The reporter interviewed many Chinese business owners in the UK and overseas Chinese working in the UK. They all said that they have adapted to the epidemic. And take a wait-and-see attitude towards the plan, hoping that the government will continue to make effective anti-epidemic measures.

Chinese restaurant manager: The subsidy failed to save the catering

  The "Winter Economic Plan" recently announced by the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sunak includes the implementation of a new work support plan, the extension of tax cuts for the tourism and hotel and catering industries, the flexibility to give enterprises the flexibility to repay loans, and the expansion of public service investment.

The new work support plan will be implemented from November 1st for a period of six months.

  Yao Di, a manager of a Chinese restaurant in London, UK, told reporters that because the plan has just been introduced, he has not yet learned about policies such as tax reductions for catering and employee wage subsidies, but he personally supports the rescue operations made by the British government.

  A few days ago, in order to promote the recovery of the catering industry as soon as possible, the British government launched a nationwide "eat out to help out", which is a half-price discount for government subsidized consumption, and the passenger flow has recovered significantly.

The event provided strong support for the recovery of the British catering industry, but after the event ended at the end of August, many catering industries were still struggling.

  Yao Di said that the subsidy activities have brought a round of catering consumption recovery, but the new city closure policy caused by the second outbreak of the epidemic requires bars, restaurants, coffee shops and other entertainment venues to be closed at 10 pm, which may not continue to improve the catering industry. Dilemma.

  Yao Di said that the catering industry in central London was the most affected by the epidemic, mainly due to three reasons: high rents, strict urban control, and insufficient flow of people. Many Chinese restaurants have been closed during this period.

  “Consumers in London’s Chinatown mainly include tourists, Chinese students, overseas Chinese, and local residents.” Yao Di said that near the Chinese National Day holiday, the British tourism and catering industry suffered heavy losses. According to usual calculations, his The restaurant’s revenue from “tourism group meals” that only entertain tourists every day during the holidays can reach 1,000 pounds, but this year the business has all disappeared, and the prospects for the recovery of the tourism industry are still not optimistic.

The retail industry is less affected

  Lily is a part-time teacher at the School of Asian and African Studies at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She took root here after studying in the United Kingdom in 2003. Based on the fact that the number of Chinese students in the United Kingdom is increasing year by year, there are fewer retail companies involved in student daily life services. She was in 2017 He chose to start his own business and opened a Chinese supermarket in 2010, which currently has two stores in Sheffield.

  Regarding whether the recently announced "Winter Economic Plan" will help companies in the future, Lily believes that the retail and catering industries have more part-time employees, and this group also includes some international students, so the plan may be less helpful , It is of great help to local residents who have British nationality and social security.

  "Last year, our scale grew very fast. When the epidemic just started in January this year, customers were hoarding goods. In April, we started online supply for three weeks and resumed offline in May." Lily said, At present, universities in the UK are opening one after another, and I personally feel that the number of international students has decreased compared with previous years. Although the UK epidemic has occurred twice, the supply chain of supermarkets will remain normal and provide customers with a stable supply.

Tourism manager: uncertain about the prospects of the tourism industry

  Recently, the British Ministry of Finance announced that it will cancel the "VAT retail export scheme" (VAT retail export scheme) from 2021, which means that tourists from non-EU countries who purchase goods in the UK will not receive tax refunds.

  The tax rebate policy is one of the important reasons why the UK attracts overseas tourists. The cancellation of the tax rebate is undoubtedly a major blow to the UK tourism industry.

Zhang Xincheng is a project manager of a British Chinese tourism company. He receives many Chinese tourist groups to the UK every year. In an interview with reporters, he said that he is currently facing multiple blows such as the second outbreak of the epidemic and the "cold winter" of the industry, which makes him tired. This policy For the British tourism industry, it is tantamount to "making things worse."

  Zhang Xincheng said that the UK’s tax rebate benefits are one of the reasons for attracting foreign tourists to travel to the UK. Every foreign tourist can enjoy a tax rebate policy between 10%-20% after shopping in a formal UK shopping mall, especially for luggage, cosmetics, and famous brands. Watch-based luxury consumer goods, the price after tax refund is particularly attractive to Chinese tourists.

  "My daughter is in China. If it doesn't get better at the end of the year, I will have a high probability of returning to work in China." Zhang Xincheng said that the second outbreak of the British epidemic not only hit the overwhelmed tourism industry, but also hit everyone engaged in the tourism industry. Employees.

  Zhang Xincheng believes that the entire European tourism market has been severely hit by the epidemic and the road to recovery is extremely difficult. Although the salary in the UK is high enough to raise his daughter and grow up, he still does not see a brighter future. He plans to return to China for employment. And make a decision by the end of this year at the latest.

(Chen Guanzhi)