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Cushioning pandemic impact on small businesses in S. Korea: Analysis Updated: 2022-01-24 17:21:20 KST

The South Korean government has finalized an extra budget proposal for 2022 worth almost 12 billion U.S. dollars.
That's for business owners hit by the pandemic and fighting COVID-19 with funds to be paid out as early as next month.
The National Assembly is set to start its review of the budget before voting.
For a deeper look, Professor KIM Sei-Wan from Ewha Womans University is with us.
Professor Kim, good to have you on the show.

Most of the extra budget will be spent to help more than 3 million small businesses struggling financially due to stricter disease prevention rules.
And part of that will be also used for securing more hospital beds and COVID-19 pills.
Could you tell us more?

So far, how much impact do the pandemic and the Omircon variant have on the local business?
Which sectors have been hit hardest?

How much will the extra budget help those business owners?
And overall, how do you expect it to affect the South Korean economy?

The supplementary budget is to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.
But there's also concerns on fiscal stability because more government spending and debt are likely?

The government plans to issue bonds for the extra budget and some are raising concerns that this will ultimately have some impact on ordinary people and consumers.
Could you tell us more?

Professor Kim Sei-wan from Ewha Womans University. Thank you for your insights.
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