The Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the European Union has launched the Direct Support Grants Programme, a newly developed grant facility in response to COVID-19 and the need for CARIFORUM firms to access finance during a time when cashflow has been significantly restricted. Â CARIFORUM firms will now be able to submit proposals or applications for a Direct Support Grant (DSG) of up to â‚¬15,000.
â€œCaribbean Export is pleased to be able to address the needs of the CARIFORUM firms during this unprecedented time of uncertainty with a grant facility that enables firms to receive funds on a non-reimbursable basis rather than as in previous programmes, under the Direct Assistance Programmeâ€ announced Anthony Bradshaw, Officer in Charge at Caribbean Export.
â€œThe Direct Support Grants Programme was developed in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with the European Union we have been able to increase the overall amount of funding made available to CARIFORUM firms, to help towards mitigating the impact of the pandemic.
A total of â‚¬500,000 has been made available through the European Union as part of the 11th EDF European Development Fund, Regional Private Sector Development Programme.
â€œThe European Union is pleased to see that our regional grant funding is going towards assisting Caribbean entrepreneurs getting back on their feet after a harrowing COVID_19 experience which has severely affected businesses. We also hope that they take this opportunity to capitalise on this initiative as they seek ways of re-engaging with their customersâ€, said Charge dâ€™Affairs of the EU Delegation in Barbados Ovidiu Naftanaila.
This current allocation will be supplemented by additional resources given there is a high demand for this service among SMEs as highlighted in our recent survey of four hundred and eighty-two (482) CARIFORUM firms.
CARIFORUM firms can apply for a grant valued between â‚¬5,000 – â‚¬15,000 for the implementation of projects in the following categories;
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- Marketing & Promotions
- Business Recovery
- Equipment Purchase & Upgrade
- Capacity Building
- Business Continuity Planning
- Protection of Intellectual Property Rights