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Jamaica: Small businesses to benefit from COVID-19 grants

By Jamaica Observer

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(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Bus and taxi operators, bar owners and craft vendors are among thousands of Jamaicans who are expected to benefit from one-off grants of between $25,000 and $40,000, under the Government’s $25 billion stimulus package.

This was included in the details of the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme, which were published in brochures made available by the Government yesterday via the print media.

In the brochure, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, explained that the CARE programme is a temporary cash transfer programme to individuals and businesses, to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The CARE programme represents the Jamaican society coming together to assist those who are most affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to put us in the best position to recover and to be stronger than we were before the crisis,” the minister said.

Among the benefits is a COVID General Grant, which offers between $25,000 and $40,000 to small business entrepreneurs registered with a central or local government authority. These grants are divided into three categories:

A one-time payment of $25,000 available to barbers, hairdressers, beauty therapists, cosmetologists, market vendors, taxi and bus operators (PPV licencees) who are registered with a municipal or transport authority by April 30, 2020;

A one-time payment of $40,000, available to bar and night club operators registered with a municipal authority by April 30, 2020;

And another one-off payment of $40,000 which will be made available to craft vendors, JUTA, MAXI and JCAL operators registered with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) by April 30, 2020.

In terms of the application process, these categories will be able to apply online beginning Thursday, April 9 via the www.wecare.gov.jm portal (on a computer or mobile phone).

In addition to the necessary data, businesses will be required to provide name, TRN, address, registration or licence number and bank account information to facilitate payment.

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