The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) is accepting applications for its coronavirus (COVID-19) CARE Tourism Grant.
Applications for the $1.2-billion grant programme close on September 30.
Managing Director of the EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell, told JIS News that the grant is part of the Government’s COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme and is targeted at registered small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) that have been “disproportionately affected” by the pandemic.
Eligible entities must be licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) or registered with the Ministry of Tourism, and include businesses such as attractions, bike rentals, car rentals, guesthouses, homestays, hotels, tour operators, water sports operators, in-bond merchants, travel agencies and villas.
“The grant supports the Government’s efforts in providing a path to recovery for these entities,” said Ms. Bell.
She noted that there “is no specific value to be awarded to each entity. It is really subject to what your expenditures are”.
Ms. Bell told JIS News that the grant is expected to be used by the SMTEs to put in place the necessary measures and protocols that are required to get their physical locations COVID-ready.
She said that although there are entities that are in the process or have already put in place the necessary protocols for reopening, whether the training of staff, acquiring new equipment or making modifications for social distancing, “we would be willing to reimburse those expenses once they are in keeping with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO) assessment”.
TPDCo has been assessing entities within the tourism sector to ensure compliance with all the health and safety protocols established by the Ministry of Tourism.
Ms. Bell indicated that applications should be submitted along with the relevant supporting documents. They should include a description of what is expected to be accomplished and procured, along with the associated costs. The amount requested will then be assessed.
Ms. Bell advised that “where a project cost exceeds the amount that is available, we would like our applicants to indicate, because EXIM Bank is in the business of lending money relating to the tourism sector”.
Businesses interested in applying for the grant can access the application form and other relevant details at https://www.eximbankja.com/.