JIS News

To help boost the micro business sector in St. Elizabeth, the bauxite and alumina company, Alpart, has provided grants totaling some $900,000 to nine persons in and around its operating areas in the parish.
To be eligible for the grants, recipients were required to submit invoices from reputable suppliers, or from businesses that could provide the equipment or material requested on the respective applications. Monitoring of the ventures is done by the company, in conjunction with the Social Development Commission (SDC), the Community Council, and a financial institution.
“I am grateful for this grant; it will assist me with tools to push out more, and get a few more employees,” said furniture manufacturer, Alrick Lewis, at the presentation ceremony, held on November 15, at the Alpart Sports Club, in Nain.
“The money will help me to purchase a processing machine, and I am thankful to Alpart for the grant and for their work with small business people and farmers over the years,” said another recipient, leather crafter, Martin Myers.
Bakery operator, Donna Grave-Sandy, told JIS News that the money has placed her in a position “to supply my baked products to schools, parties and weddings and provide employment to people in my community.”
For hairstylist, Alicia Whyte, the grant is timely, as with Christmas just weeks away, “there are items I need now, that I am going to purchase with this grant.”
Chairman of the Alpart Community Council, Lenworth Blake, in commenting on the many initiatives that the bauxite company has instituted to keep businesses going, despite its temporary closure, said the grant programme was timely and helpful for the small business persons. “You must make use of it, as if you don’t, the programme might not continue,” Mr. Blake told the recipients.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer at Alpart, Julian Keene, told the gathering that the stimulus programme is geared at minimising the effects of the company’s closure on the communities.

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