Qualifying small business owners can now apply for an emergency grant from the government through the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development to assist in recovery following Hurricane Maria.
Minister for Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development Roselyn Paul at the launch of this facility on Wednesday 10 January, 2018, said the small business community has been long awaiting this support.
Small business in Dominica she said have been greatly affected.
“Every day we get the request, the inquiries as to what kind of support or when they are small businesses going to get the needed support so that they can recover from the losses, loss of livelihoods, even loss of jobs and loss of provision of services, so it affects not only the small business owners but the people who would require the services from these small businesses,” she said.
Her ministry she added has been working behind the scenes with the World Bank’s as the bank will be providing the resources for these grants through a partnership with the Ministry of Commerce. Various systems, process, protocols and requirements also had to be put in place, Paul said.
Beginning today, the application process will span over two weeks until January 24, 2018. Applicants should have suffered loss caused by Hurricane Maria.
Meanwhile the ministry will embark on an outreach drive to ensure that all small business owners across the island have access to application forms.
“We will be reaching out to all communities via the village councils so that people can have access to the application forms. We will also be launching our public awareness to ensure that people are well informed and that everybody that has a small business that has been affected and meets the requirement can have access to the grant, can have access to the application forms. So it’s not going to just be in Roseau but we’re going to make sure we reach out to all the communities around Dominica,” she explained.