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JIS News

The Hanover office of the Social Development Commission (SDC), through its Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP), is helping community enterprises impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) to rebound.

Cash grants ranging from $15,000 to a maximum of $115,000 were presented to seven entrepreneurs during an SDC-organised farmers’ market and bus tour on July 2, which stopped at various communities throughout the parish.

SDC Hanover parish manager, Mashario Bisasor, told JIS News that the grants are to assist the business owners to “get back on their feet”.

“We have some Local Economic Initiatives (LEI) that we looked at during the height of the pandemic. Those LEI’s were promising, so what the SDC decided was to give them a stimulus check. Now that the country is opening up, they are getting a chance to reopen their businesses. It’s a startup capital that they do not have to repay,” he said.

Mr. Bisasor noted that the business operators who received support include designers and food and agro-processors.

Icema Brown-Sanderson, operator of Icema’s Hats and Accessories, who was among the beneficiaries, told JIS News that she is grateful and the grant will go a far way in helping her to resume production.

“It is a couple of months now I haven’t really sold anything because the functions that I normally go to, like church and church convocation, I haven’t had a chance to go. The grant that I got will help me to purchase some materials I need. I have been getting some orders lately and I cannot fulfil them because I don’t have the money to buy the material, but now with the grant I can do so,” she said.

Madge Corniffe, owner and operator of Cestan Hills Nature’s Beauty and Delight, has also seen a downturn in her business due to the impact of COVID-19.

Mrs. Corniffe, who sells castor oil, coconut oil and green vegetables, said she will be using her grant to get her business back on track.

“Now that COVID-19 is on, the sales have dropped a bit, so this grant can help me to push the business back on the right path,” she told JIS News.

Mrs. Corniffe thanked the SDC for “always motivating us to do better and push the business a bit further so other people can know about it so I [can get] more sales”. The LEDSP is geared at stimulating sustainable economic development through the growth of community enterprises.

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