The government of Dominica has launched an emergency grant for micro and small businesses in Dominica that were affected by Hurricane Maria.
The program is being funded by the World Bank at a cost of US$3-million and a total of 1,500 small businesses are being targeted, with each receiving $5,376.
“The reality is that small businesses in Dominica have been greatly affected and every day we get the requests, the inquiries as to what kind of support, when are small businesses going to get the needed support so that so that they can recover from the losses, loss of livelihood, even the loss of jobs,” said Roselyn Paul, minister for commerce, enterprise and small business development.
She said the resources for the programme will be provided by the World Bank.
Small business owners have until 24 January 24 to apply for assistance.
“You must have suffered loss from Maria for you to apply,” she explained.
“We will be reaching out to all communities via the village councils so that people can have access to the application forms.”
She added that a public awareness program will be launched so that businesses owners who were affected by the storm can have access to the application forms and the grant.
“So it is not only going to be in Roseau but we are going to make sure that we reach out to all the communities around Dominica.”
Esther Thomas, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business, said that every single successful applicant will get $5,376.
She explained that one of the requirements to be eligible for the grant is that the business must have suffered loss or was affected due to the passage of Hurricane Maria, and must have between one and 20 employees.
She also said that it is important that the business is registered with the Company and Intellectual Property Office.
Thomas added that the business must have been operational before and at the time of Hurricane Maria, and evidence must be provided to ensure this is true.