URUMQI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Iskender Ablemit and his elder sister Patman Ablemit set up their business in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, making "shou zhua bing," literally "hand-grabbed pancake," which is a popular Chinese street food with crispy layers that smells of scallion.
"Mother used to make pancakes for us. They were crunchy and delicious. In 2017, I came across a street vendor selling pancakes. The taste reminded me of our late mother. Since then, I decided to set up a food factory and introduce our family recipe to more customers," said Iskender Ablemit, 38.
Now their company has developed into a production team of eight and offers a variety of products.
"However, the market demand suddenly plummeted due to the stagnant courier industry after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic," Patman Ablemit said. In 2021, she went to the local government for help.
"They offered us a package of social insurance subsidies. From early 2021 to March this year, we saved more than 130,000 yuan (about 19,500 U.S. dollars)," she said.
"To qualify for the subsidy, we need to apply online and I was not sure how to apply. The staff there helped us even during off-duty hours to work through the procedure," she added.
"Through a series of preferential policies such as social security subsidies and entrepreneurship subsidies, we can further boost market confidence, and thus spur entrepreneurship and employment," said Zhao Li, a local official.
Now the two are able to resume their ambition to expand the pancake business. "I have confidence to revive our family recipe despite the impact of the pandemic," Iskender Ablemit said.
"With the help of the local government, we are more confident to run our brand well. We hope to bring authentic Xinjiang flavor to customers at home and abroad," Patman Ablemit added. ■