The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has partnered with central government to provide $40,000 in grants to upgrade 10 small businesses in the local restaurant industry.
A Monday, June 8 media release from the Ministry of Finance said the financial assistance is to equip these restaurants with technology for the transition into providing fully digital operational services.
“Under the programme, business owners may use the grant for a myriad of purposes, including the purchase of food and cleaning supplies to restart the business, the payment of employees, [and] the procurement of biodegradable containers to package food,” the release stated.
It also said the grant will assist with the development of websites and apps to enable online ordering, delivery services, and will also help to secure financial management assistance to update the day-to-day operations of the business.
The initiative, which is part of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s Economic Recovery Programme, will also lend support to the territory by providing an economic impact assessment which, according to the Finance Ministry, is expected to be released soon.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance said it will ensure that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the territory retain employees, increase their revenue, and provide satisfactory services to their customers.
The MSMEs have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic suffering major economic losses, after the closure of borders — locally and abroad — causing a grave decline of the BVI’s tourism sector.