Almost 400 businesses across the British Virgin Islands have already registered to receive the government’s economic stimulus grant, which is designed for small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19.
This is according to the Director of the Department of Trade, Karia Christopher in a recent media release commissioned by the Office of the Premier.
She said: “The department has received 387 applications thus far and my dedicated staff has started the review process and continue to assist persons with completing the online application form.”
While businesses have the option to register using government’s online application process, Christopher said businesses which are uncomfortable with using that medium can either contact the department via phone, WhatsApp, email or by Facebook messenger for assistance.
“Applicants are to ensure that the information provided is accurate and include the necessary supporting documentation as part of their application. This will definitely accelerate the processing of applications and ultimately lead to a faster turnover of grant allocations once the application process has concluded,” she explained.
Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development, Shereen Flax- Charles also encouraged affected businesses to apply for the grant before the August 21 deadline.
She described the grant programme as an integral component of the government’s economic stimulus response.
“[It] is structured to assist affected businesses to meet their operational expenditure, while stimulating economic activity within the territory,” she stated.
According to the said media release, the required criteria for businesses to qualify for the grant include having a valid trade licence, proof the business has been in operation before January 31, 2020, as well as having a Certificate of Good Standing from the Social Security Board and National Health Insurance.
Business owners must also show their business has already resumed operations or plans to resume business once the borders reopen for visitors.
The application form is to be completed and submitted electronically on the government’s official website.
Government had announced that $6.5 million was allocated through a grant provided by the Social Security Board for this programme.