With more than 1,100 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) approved for government’s Small Business Sector Grant Relief Programme, business owners are expected to receive their cheques starting Monday, September 14.
This is according to Junior Minister for Trade & Economic Development Shereen Flax-Charles who said in an interview with BVI News that more than 1,400 businesses had applied for the programme.
“There were some applications that did not fit the criteria. There were some applications where, for instance, the person did not have a valid trade license, so obviously they would have been eligible. Based on the criteria and so forth, 1102 persons were eligible.”
Flax-Charles while stating that she was aware of the outcry from business owners that were in dire need of receiving the stimulus, said that her ministry had to ensure that all the proper procedures were taken.
“The programme opened on the 22nd of July and the deadline was the 21st of August. We could not in the first week with whatever applications we got to go ahead and start issuing cheques for persons, because we needed to have all of the applications in, assess the needs of each business, and work with a formula that would assist as many eligible businesses as possible,” she explained.
The junior minister further said that despite having 1,102 approved businesses for the grants, monies from the $6.5 million fund was still left over after calculations were made.
She said the additional funds prompted the ministry to decide to extend the deadline date to September 16 to allow more businesses the opportunity to apply.
“Those applications will only be based on whatever funds are left, so persons who did not meet the original deadline for whatever reason will still be able to apply and get some assistance for their businesses,” she said.
“That deadline is hard and fast, if it is not in by 12 noon on Wednesday the 16th, it will not be able to move forward in the process,” she added.
While the first batch of applications were conducted online, Flax-Charles said that all applications being processed within the extended period will not be taking that route.
She said all businesses interested in securing a grant once eligible will have to contact the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs by calling 468-4280 or by email at email@example.com.