Business owners in the Fourth District have been awarded more than $1.5 million from the government’s Small Business Sector Grant Relief Programme — the highest total value of grants of all the nine districts.
Premier Andrew Fahie shared this statistic while giving a detailed breakdown on how each district in the territory benefited from the $6.5 million programme.
While stating that the names of the businesses could not be released because of security purposes, he said a total of 1,039 businesses were approved at a total value of $6,138,889.
Premier Fahie said 68 businesses in the First Electoral District received a combined total of $399,290 in grants. The Second District received $598,114 to share among 102 businesses while District 3 received $548,825 for 91 businesses. The Fourth District where the Road Town capital is located collected a combined total of $1,665,565 shared among 280 businesses.
Below is a further breakdown:
Fifth District 5 (68 businesses) — $404,063
Sixth District (113 businesses) — $644,273
Seventh District (59 businesses) — $354,748
Eighth District (90 businesses) — $518,600
Ninth District (169 businesses) — $1,005,384
Banking information needed for some approved applicants
Despite the approval of some businesses, Director of Trade Karia Christopher said her department has reached out to those businesses who have not yet confirmed their banking information.
She said an email was sent to these businesses over the last few days after the department noticed that there were businesses who did not have a bank account attached to the same trade license of the business.
Using an example, she said: “If Karia Christopher has a trade license for Real Talk, we would assume that my account would be in Real Talk. However, we have recognised very early that this has not been the case. So if we wrote a cheque for Real Talk obviously it would not be valid for the bank because there’s no account for that particular name.”
“So we have further contacted individuals and said please confirm that you have a bank account in your business name. If you do not have a bank account in your business name, please confirm the personal name that this account should be measured in. Reason being we would allow that person’s name to be on the account,” she explained.
Name on bank information and trade license must match
Christopher further noted that the name of the person on the banking details provided must also be on the trade license.
She said: “So if you have a trade license you have to put it [banking information] in your name, you can’t put it in your husband’s name or your mother’s name or your child’s name if their names are not on the trade license.”
Cheques to be disbursed in batches
Due to the large volume of awardees, the director also said her department will be distributing the cheques in batches.
She is therefore asking all persons with outstanding information such as bank details, to submit the required documents as soon as possible to the department to prevent any delays from occurring within a respective batch.
Cheques to be distributed to sister islands
Christopher also informed the public that due to the present nature of COVID-19, her department is devising a system that would allow persons to safely collect their payments.
This includes the distribution of cheques to persons residing on the sister islands who will not be required to come to Tortola to collect their payment.
“Every business owner who receives a grant award, your cheques will be sent over to the respective island and then you will decide when it is appropriate for you to go to your personal business and do that transaction, however you will not receive a cheque if you do not confirm your banking details,” she reiterated.
For residents on Tortola, the Trade Director said more information will be forthcoming on how they can collect their payments.
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