BVI News

Nearly 150 businesses receive gov’t grants; loans coming

Karia Christopher

Nearly 150 businesses that suffered equipment and infrastructural damage during the September hurricanes are said to have benefitted from government grants.

Director of the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Karia Christopher made the announcement on Friday during a public consultation with members of the local business community.

She said: “We are pleased to report that we have distributed a first cohort for the grant programme, which is free money. To date, 141 recipients have received funding from the Government of the Virgin Islands — as much as $10,000.”

Christopher said more than 70 percent of local businesses were found to be uninsured after hurricanes.

She said business owners can still apply for grants; adding that businesses in need of further financial support will be able to access more funds when government rolls out its loan programme.

The Director for Trade said her department is now awaiting the official go-ahead from Cabinet to launch the programme.

“I can’t speak too much on that right now but we are saying it’s up to $20,000 in the first instance and that loan, obviously, is a soft loan programme that will have to be repaid but it is not fully formalized,” she told business owners.

In the meantime, business owners still in need of grants are being told to register at the Department of Trade or on the sister islands.

Christopher said the funds are easy to access as long as applicants have a trade license that is up-to-date, and have no infractions on their files.

However, persons with infractions can have it rectified before applying for a grant, Christopher noted.

Business Development Centre 

Following the passage of the two September hurricanes, the Department of Trade also opened its doors to the business community so affected business owners could have access to office space, internet, and equipment.

“There’s a minimum of three hours that you could use … There is not a cap on how many days you can come,” Christopher said.

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7 Comments

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  1. Measurement of Success says:

    You don’t measure success of grant programs in outputs. You measure success in terms of “outcome”. Translation; what did the businesses achieve with the grants? Are they now functional and serving the public? This is the story taxpayers need to hear when funds are given out for free in the form of grants.

  2. Great innitiative says:

    I somehow take to this lady!. I think what here and the rest of the cabinet is doing is great..

  3. Confusion says:

    I am a business owner and have not heard a thing from that department.

  4. Albion says:

    The other really important point in the article is this: “more than 70 percent of local businesses were found to be uninsured”.

    Why in a hurricane zone do we have so many uninsured businesses? We need to do a better job of educating the business community on managing risk. It is the taxpayer who has to cover these losses when businesses do not act prudently in relation to insurance.

    I’d be interested to know whether Department of Trade even asks potential businesses about whether the have proper insurance before granting trade licences.

  5. Watcher says:

    A reminder, there is no such thing as government money, there is only taxpayers money.

  6. Vision Consults says:

    That’s good news, but there is a loan company that offer business loan up to $500,000 in 48hrs without collateral with almost free interest rate. Click here if interested: https://tinyurl.com/USLegalLoan

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