According to Director of Trade, Karia Christopher, each application form will have graded questions that will precisely categorise an applicant.
“There is a number assigned to basically most of the questions and there is a rank. So you can get from one to three points depending on the question. Also, we ask you questions like expenses, and overheads and things like that, so that goes into the application process as well,” Christopher explained.
“It is ranked literally blindly so I don’t know that Lizette is Dance/Music category versus Karah that’s Realtor. We don’t know who we are ranking so that it is very fair and very seamless,” she added.
In further explaining the system, consultant in the Premier’s Office, Patlian Johnson said applicants will be given a range of options to select their revenue stream.
“One of the most important criteria that we will be utilising is the information on the financial impact of your business. Specifically, the questions that relate to how your business was performing prior to COVID-19 in terms of your revenue and your expenditure and how your business is performing during COVID-19,” she explained.
Meanwhile Director Christopher said her department will be investigating all claims made on applications to eliminate attempts to defraud the government.
“This is why Trade has to go through the expenses so that we can validate your expenses. So if you submitted something to us and say that you owe Company X $8,000, I promise you we will call, we will quote that invoice number, we will quote that statement number … Once that is verified, that goes into the pile,” she said.
Christopher further cautioned businesses not to expect that all of their expenses will be covered through the grant initiative.
“If you owe $20,000 in expenses, please know $6.5 million is a finite number, we perhaps will not be able to pay all of your expenses. We want to make sure that your expectations are met and not way up here. There are so many applicants and we don’t expect we will be able to cover every person’s full expenses,” she added.