Two of the territory’s leading financial accounting firms will be assisting the 10 foodservice businesses recently selected to each receive a $4,000 grant under the government’s joint partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
As a mandatory requirement of the programme, the businesses — which are all classified as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) — will be under the stewardship of Deloitte and KPMG Limited for a specified period.
Consultant in the Premier’s Office, Patlian Johnson said the 10 businesses will be receiving advice on how to successfully operate their businesses.
“The government is very focused on not just providing businesses with monetary grants but also ensure they develop certain entrepreneurship skills as well as develop their business especially in this challenging time of COVID-19,” Johnson stated.
“Deloitte and KPMG have volunteered to give some of their time over the next couple of months to sort of mentor these businesses, so at the end of COVID-19 these businesses will come out with better business management practices,” she added.
Process in selecting the 10 businesses
Johnson also detailed the procedures that were used to determine the 10 businesses selected, stating that a total of 31 food operators had applied to receive the grant.
“There was an initial eligibility requirement and we used the government’s draft business license policy to guide us with that. So if a company had less than 20 employees and an annual turnover of less than $200,000, they became eligible,” the government consultant stated.
She added: “We also required that all businesses had a valid 2020 trade license as well as if you are a food operator, it was a stand-alone business. So if it was a restaurant that is part of a hotel then you were not eligible for this grant.”
21 of the batch had qualified
Following an eligibility assessment, only 21 of the business applicants qualified to advance to the next phase of evaluation.
During this phase, information on the type of ownership of the business coupled with the severity of the financial impact experienced before and during COVID-19 were the factors which determined the final 10 selected businesses.
50% of the businesses are female-owned
Of the 10 businesses selected, six are on Tortola, two on Anegada and one business on Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke each.
Premier Andrew Fahie said 50 percent of the businesses are female-owned and includes five restaurants, three food vans, and two café snacketts.
Awardees will be contacted this week to collect the grant.
Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.