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Jul 3, 2020

More Details on G.O.B.’s M.S.M.E. Support Programme

Carla Barnett

The government on Thursday presented its plan to financially assist micro, small, and medium enterprises that have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Up to fourteen million dollars are being set aside for the M.S.M.E. Support Programme. The idea is to keep M.S.M.E.s afloat and stimulate economic activity.  An online portal will allow persons to submit applications for revision and approval. Details of the programme were shared on Thursday by Doctor Carla Barnett and Minister Tracy Taegar-Panton.

 

Dr. Carla Barnett, Economic Oversight Committee

“Once we come past the middle of July, we’re going to be clearing up the portal that people were able to apply on and you will be able to go on and do a new application if you’re going to be applying for phase two.  As an overview in phase two of the programme we’re setting aside two million which would be grants for micro enterprises; seven million for unemployment relief which would be paid through MSME’s to keep their employees’ social security payments up to date; and we will be setting aside five million to provide soft loans for working capital to assist MSME’s in preparing for the re-opening, and basically to keep them alive and keep their employees livelihoods together as we transition through this very difficult economic time.”

 

Tracy Taegar Panton

Tracy Taegar Panton, Minister of State, Investment

“There are three categories of micro and small enterprises that will be addressed in this programme. The micro enterprises themselves which have two to four persons that are employed, including the owner of that business, small enterprises defined as those entities that have five to twenty employees, and medium enterprises between twenty one and fifty employees. As Dr. Barnett emphasized two million dollars has been set aside for grants to the micro enterprises across the country. In addition to the two million dollars, that will come from the government coffers, the BELTRAIDE Board of Directors has approved an additional five hundred thousand dollars to add to this amount so that we can serve another two hundred or so micro enterprises with the small grants program. There is also the seven million dollars which will be used for wage subsidies, and I think Doctor Barnett outlined that very well  and then another five million dollars set aside for working capital for medium enterprises. For enterprises that are classified as five to twenty employees, the cap on the loans would be fifteen thousand dollars, and for medium enterprises the cap would be twenty five thousand dollars. It is expected that there would be a twelve month grace period for these entities that are approved under the small grants program and that the interest rate would be three percent over a period of two years.”


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