British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Dec 05, 2021

Owners with multiple businesses can apply for more than one stimulus grants

Director of Trade Karia Christopher has said an owner of multiple businesses can apply and benefit from more than one COVID-19 stimulus grants from government.
Christopher gave that indication on Thursday, August 13, during social media interview about government’s $6.5 million grant relief programme for micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

“I am going to try to give you a very simple example so that persons can relate. If Sheriece Smith has a restaurant in Road Town, Sheriece Restaurant — that is one business. Sheriece is a budding entrepreneur, she loves fashion, and she has a clothing store in Sea Cows Bay — that’s two businesses. The Premier was adamant that, and to use his words, ‘take from Peter to pay Paul’. So in that case, Sheriece who has two businesses will definitely be eligible for two different grants,” Christopher explained.

She continued: “But if Karia Christopher has an architectural firm and in that same architectural firm, I do project management in the same space, that’s just two different licenses, but it is in the same space, so in that case, Karia Christopher would only be eligible for that one grant.”

The Trade Director said businesses have up till August 21 to submit their current trade licenses to her department.

She also sought to bring greater clarity to the requirements for the grant.

“There have been some questions, so perhaps our message was not clear. That is the only requirement that is mandatory – a trade license. There are sections where persons were asked to submit National Health Insurance (NHI), Inland Revenue, and Social Security. What we have said from the beginning, this is not mandatory. We do not want businesses to be stressed out because they are not up to date. If you are up to date, beautiful, submit what you have,” she explained.

“Another point of clarification, we accept receipts. So if you have your receipts, for NHI, Social Security, if you can prove that you have paid your taxes, please do not go into the expense of trying to get a Certificate of Good Standing. The certificate of good standing is only mandatory if you have it for companies. There is a big difference between a company and a business, a dba (a trading name). So if you are a company that is established with a limited enterprise, those are where you require that certificate of good standing from the Financial Services Commission. Again, it is not mandatory. We want to make sure that we put the businesses at ease,” Christopher added.

The only other mandatory requirement besides an up-to-date trade license is that businesses applying for grants must not employ 20 employees at any given time.

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