Three local businesses that were affected by the recent category five hurricanes were given grants by the Department of Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs on 18 January to assist with their continuity efforts.
During the handover ceremony Director of Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs Mrs. Karia Christopher told the three recipients of VI Airlink, Moviene Fahie of ‘Moviene’s Garden of Eden’ and Kadeem Hodge of ‘Hodges Chophouse’ that the grant is not to be seen as a replacement for their business sales or loss. “We don’t expect that the funds enclosed in this envelope would be able to get you exactly where you have been,” the Trade Director said.
Mrs. Christopher explained that the Department was making grants available to small businesses in the community under the $1.5M loan guarantee and grant support programme Government provided for businesses as part of the recovery process. It was noted that some $250,000 has already been disbursed from the earmarked amount.
In further explaining the initiative the Director of Trade said that the offer is only open to legal businesses operating in the Territory: “This is an opportunity for those persons that are on the ground to come into the department, because that is what our purpose is…You must be a legal trader within the British Virgin Islands to be able to get some of the benefits.”
The Director of Trade also clarified that the Department will not be hard on businesses who might not be up to date with their trade licence at this time. In fact the Director even invited businesses that might be up to three years behind to go in and visit the Department.