A customer shops at a 7-Eleven in Seoul on Tuesday. Thanks to the government's emergency relief grant, sales of meat and fruit have increased.
Applications for the government's emergency relief grants can be filed from Sept. 6 to Oct. 29, and most residents of Korea are eligible, including a few foreigners.
A sign posted at a convenience store in Seoul on Sunday notifies customers that it is accepting emergency relief grant payments until the end of this year. The government's 250,000 won ($210) emergency relief grant application starts Monday.
Almost all Koreans are getting 250,000 won from the government. But they won't be allowed to spend any of it on luxury goods, in big supermarkets or at foreign retailers like IKEA -- or even for a Starbucks Frappuccino .
According to Statistics Korea on Monday, service industries grew 5.7 percent in the second quarter, including wholesale businesses, retail, finance and the logistics and storage industry.
Emergency relief grants of at least 250,000 won will be showered on Korean households, except those in the top 20 percent income brackets.
The government and ruling party agreed on a 33-trillion-won ($29 billion) supplementary budget, the sixth since the start of the pandemic and second this year, but the Democratic Party failed to get relief grants for all.
According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, in the first quarter average household monthly income was 4.38 million won, up 0.4 percent on year. Income from work fell 1.3 percent and business income dropped 1.6 percent.
People wait at a job center in Nowon District, Northern Seoul, on April 12. The government started accepting emergency relief grant applications from those in unusual jobs, including freelancers.
The Democratic Party and the government are currently in negotiations over the fifth supplementary budget since the Covid-19 outbreak. The plan is to reach an agreement this week so that it could be turned over to the National Assembly next month.