In a statement on September 14, 2020, the Premier informed that the $40,000 grant will assist 10 food operators, who will receive $4,000 each.
He said six businesses on Tortola, two businesses on Anegada, one on Virgin Gorda and one on Jost van Dyke would benefit.
He further said, the 10 businesses are inclusive of 5 restaurants, three food vans and two café/snackettes to assist with their operational expenditure.
The $40,000 grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be divided into $4,000 to 10 food operators.
"Each awardee will be required to sign a declaration form upon receipt of the cheque, which outlines their commitment, for example: to honour the intended purpose for the funds (meeting business operational expenditure); to participate in any surveys on accessing the programme; to participate in the financial management assistance/training being offered pro bono by two of the BVI's Accounting Firms - Deloitte and KPMG. We were very pleased with the rigorous process of the UNDP and we applied the same requirements to our small business grant programme," the Premier said.
He informed that the UNDP programme is being done in partnership with the Government of the Virgin Islands, in providing economic stimulus.
"These funds will assist them in addressing some of the financial difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not call the names of the business, but the awardees will be contacted via email and telephone to provide them with additional information, including where and when the cheques can be collected. Special arrangements will be made to ensure that cheques can be collected if you are on the Sister Islands," he added.
Premier Fahie said his administration is devoted to building entrepreneurial skills; therefore, as part of the knowledge-based component of the programme awardees will be receiving business management guidance by accounting and business development professionals in the VI.
"I would like again to thank Deloitte and KPMG for their involvement in this important initiative. Indeed, we are in this together," he added.
According to Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) September 14, 2020, during the launch of economic grant payments to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise businesses (MSMEs), 64% of workers in food and drink sector were laid off, and significant revenue reduction was seen as a result of the pandemic.
"A business impact survey conducted by the Government of the Virgin Islands in April 2020, revealed that the majority of bars and restaurants experienced a significant reduction in business activity, between 61% and 100%," she stated.
Premier and Minister for Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1), right, seen here with Jr Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL), said the 10 food operators who will benefit from a grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would be required to sign a declaration that the funds will be used for the intended purpose.
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