Amid recent complaints from many businesses that were anxiously awaiting their stimulus cheques from the government’s Small Business Sector Grant Relief Programme, Premier Andrew Fahie has announced that 500 businesses will receive their cheques by the end of this week.
“Last week we distributed 30 cheques to businesses and today another 60 businesses will receive their stimulus cheques. By the end of this week, we would have processed and released a combined total of 500 stimulus grants,” Premier Fahie explained in an interview with ZBVI on Wednesday.
“If I give a rough estimate, it would be close to about $700,000 worth of monies would have been paid out by the end of this week,” he added.
A total of 1,039 businesses had been approved for the programme. However, many business owners were complaining about the lengthy wait for the processing of the funds.
Bureaucratic processes delaying payouts
In his said radio interview, Premier Fahie said the distribution of cheques started two weeks ago and that the lengthy processing time is because of bureaucratic processes the government must follow when dealing with public funds.
“We have no choice in that. There is no option for going around the bureaucratic processes that are there to ensure transparency and accountability,” Premier Fahie added.
The government had received $6.5 million from the Social Security Board to assist businesses when the territory was forced to shut down due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the territory.
Premier Fahie also said as of this week, the government will commence stimulus grants initiatives for fishermen, farmers, daycares, churches and private schools.
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