Saint Kitts
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Up to EC$ 5,000.00 Booster Grant on Offer to Small Business Entrepreneurs

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, September 4, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — True to its motto ‘Building Businesses, Fuelling Innovation’, the newly launched Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with an Angel Donor, is offering grants of up to EC$5,000.00 to deserving small business entrepreneurs to provide the much-needed financial boost to elevate their businesses.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Delrine Taylor, with Director in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mr Philip Browne.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms. Delrine Taylor, observed that one of the fundamental pillars the ministry would have identified which is critical for entrepreneurs is access to finance, and especially coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic where small businesses were impacted tremendously.

She pointed out that some of them are still probably not in operation, or are trying to find their footing to get back to where they were before the pandemic would have affected everyone.

“We always look for ways and collaboration with the financial institutions, or private entities, or in this case a private donor, where persons see the need to give back to the small business for the development and the success to create a more resilient and vibrant small business sector,” said Ms Taylor.

When the Ministry was approached by the individual to put on such a programme for the entrepreneurs, they were delighted as they continued to hear the cries of the businesses, and hence it was appropriately named the Small Business Booster Grant programme.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Delrine Taylor, addresses the press at a Small Business Development Centre’s Business Expo held in November last year at the West Independence Square in Basseterre.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the intention of the programme is not to start as a new business, but it is for those existing businesses that need the boost, and hence the name of the programme, Small Business Booster Grant programme, as it will be giving those businesses the boost to get them back up on their feet.

“So for persons having difficulties in whether it is paying wages, inventory, buying small equipment or machinery, this is the resource that they could use to facilitate those needs,” she added. Businesses desirous of accessing those funds should visit the offices of the Small Business Development Centre on Princess Street in Basseterre.

The deadline for application is set for Friday, the 8th of September, and the conditions for one to qualify are that the business must be declared an Approved Small Business by the Ministry. Documents required include a valid business license; two Government-issued IDs, and original statements of good standing with the Inland Revenue Department, Social Security, and the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC).

“You are not just coming because you are saying you want to apply for a grant because you consider it to be free money,” advised the Permanent Secretary. “You have to show us how these monies will be utilised in the business to take it to the next step so that we are not investing blindly, but we are investing in the overall development and structure of these businesses.”

The Ministry is cognisant that funding without training is a recipe for failure, and that being the case, it will be mandatory for successful applicants to do one-time business training with the Ministry.

The participants have to agree to confirm and participate in the training, which will be conducted before Independence Day and a vendor will do the interactive training where they will get to ask questions, and at the end, they will get a certificate. The businesses will also be required to participate in the Ministry’s Monitoring and Evaluation Programme.

“The key word is up to $5,000.00,” reminded Ms Taylor. “Some persons would qualify for the $5,000 some persons qualify for $4,000 depending on what you put forward as the need for the business, and what you were able to prove. So if it is just a refrigerator that you wanted to hold your drinks in the bar, probably your fridge is down and you do not have the extra capital to purchase a new fridge, which is retailing at $3,000 at some of outlets like TDC or Courts, and that is the only thing you are looking to do with the grant, then you just need the $3,000 to purchase the fridge.”

Director in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Philip Browne, pointed out that presently the concept the ministry is looking at 40 years of independence, and to make it a significant type of event they are suggesting that initially, 40 businesses will get the grants.

“We will do 40 for independence, to maintain the significance of that, and then we could do something afterwards,” said Mr Browne. “It is a booster for business – so we want to see the impact. While we are giving you something that you won’t have to repay, we are holding you to certain conditions most of it is guided by the Small Business Development Act. We want to see growth and development.”