by Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Micro, medium and small businesses (MSMEs) in St. Kitts and Nevis have been afforded the opportunity to benefit from grant funding through the 2021 Direct Support Grants Programme organised by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).
A total of €3 million equivalent to EC$9.3 million will be awarded to MSMEs in countries that form part of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM). Businesses in St. Kitts and Nevis and CARIFORUM can get up to €30,000.00 equivalent to EC$93,000.00
Dr. Damie Sinanan, Manager of Competitiveness and Export Promotion at CEDA while speaking at a CEDA press conference on Wednesday, November 10, explained that businesses now have ready access to funds compared to previous years which was done on a reimbursable basis.
“What we realized coming out of the pandemic is that many businesses do not have the cash flow to spend those funds upfront and wait for reimbursement from CEDA.
We recognised that very early so much so that in August 2020, we were able to identify grant funds from the European Union and shift our mode of delivery whereby firms can now access the funds upfront,” Dr Sinanan said.
Dr. Sinanan used the opportunity to encourage MSMEs in St. Kitts and Nevis to apply for the 2021 Direct Support Grants Programme.
“Under the first grant call, we gave one firm from St. Kitts and Nevis a grant. That was Sugar Town Organics. Under the last call, we were able to give two firms. I would like to see eight to ten firms from St. Kitts and Nevis get a grant this time around,” Dr. Sinanan said.
Also speaking at the press conference held at the conference room of the Ministry of International Trade was Ms. Jasmine Weekes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Labour and Mr. Philip Brown, Director of the Small Business Development Center on St. Kitts.
The Caribbean Export Development Agency is the regional trade and investment promotion agency focused on accelerating the economic transformation of the Caribbean and is funded through the European Development Fund of the European Union.