Hong Kong's small businesses consider backup offices in Kowloon as they look to relocate from protest hotspots

By Lam Ka-sing kasing.lam@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3040276/hong-kongs-small-businesses-consider-backup-offices-kowloon-they-look?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | December 4, 2019 1:45 PM SGT
Small and medium-sized enterprises are actively looking for backup offices in Kowloon as a contingency plan to minimise the impact on their day to day operations as the protests over the past six months make commuting difficult because of frequent transport disruption.
Patrick Mak, head of Kowloon office services at Knight Frank, said that as office goers were finding it increasingly difficult to get to work because of constant disruptions to the transport network, companies were forced to look for backup offices.
Protesters have vandalised MTR stations, set roadblocks and set the tollbooths of the Cross-Harbour Tunnel on fire, making commuting a nightmare as the protests have turned increasingly violent in the past few months.
"[Earlier] it used to be only big companies but now some SMEs have also started," Mak said.
Office goers in Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong. Photo: AFP alt=Office goers in Tsim Sha Tsui district of Hong Kong. Photo: AFP
He said that companies with offices near MTR stations and police stations that have borne the brunt of the protesters' ire were particularly looking to move to Kowloon, adding that the company has made a map showing areas that have not been affected too much by the protests.
Relatively cheap offices in Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon Bay and Shek Mun were most likely to benefit from the trend, he said.
Wendy Lau, senior director for Hong Kong office services at Knight Frank, said that banks in the past that were not very serious about disaster recovery centres, have become more serious to maintain a continuity in operations.
"It has never been like this, so they [banks] thought it was not important," Lau said. "But this time it is different as people really cannot go to work. I think this will become a trend. A lot of clients have asked about...