Information Officer II
Dept. of Information & Public Relations
Telephone: 468- 2740
Ten Food Service Operators in the Virgin Islands will be awarded COVID-19 Grants from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said during the launch of Payment of COVID-19 Small Business Stimulus Grant and the UNDP Grant that the successful operators in the food services sector will receive cheques of $4,000 each this week from the UNDP programme to assist Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Premier Fahie said that food service businesses on the four main islands including two on Anegada, one on Virgin Gorda, one on Jost Van Dyke and six businesses on Tortola will benefit from this grant programme.
He added that 50 percent of the ten businesses are female owned and that the ten businesses are inclusive of five restaurants, three food vans and two cafe/snackettes.
The Premier thanked the UNDP for partnering with the Government of Virgin Islands in providing economic stimulus to small business in the Territory and urged the business owners to use the funds wisely.
Premier Fahie said, “Each awardee will be required to sign a declaration form upon receipt of the cheque, which outlines their commitment, for example: to honour the intended purpose for the funds (meeting business operational expenditure); to participate in any surveys on accessing the programme; and to participate in the financial management assistance/training being offered pro bono by two of the BVI's Accounting Firms - Deloitte and KPMG.”
Meanwhile, Interim UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Ugo Blanco stated that his organisation was honored to partner with the Government of the British Virgin Islands in their pioneer initiative which supports Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
Mr. Blanco said, “Thanks to the leadership and proactiveness of the Premier’s Office and the Ministry of Finance, food operators in the BVI are now better equipped with the tools and resources needed to jumpstart their operations. This work showcases the commitment of the Government and will provide assistance to the most affected groups and allow them to adapt as quickly as possible to the new economic context.”
Premier Fahie further stated that the Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to development of small businesses and its support will continue beyond the COVID-19 stimulus grant.
He said, “My Government is devoted to building entrepreneurial skills, therefore as part of the knowledge-based component of the programme, awardees will be receiving business management guidance by accounting and business development professionals in the BVI.”
The grant programme was administered through the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Premier’s Office and the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs. Applications were made available on June 22.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to supporting the resurgence of the small business sector in the BVI as part of its Economic Response Plan to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
Photo 1:2- Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie
Photo 2:2 – Logo of the programme’s sponsor, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)