JIS News

Residents of Mt. Salem, in St. James, are lauding the Government for the compassionate grant in their time of need.

One recipient, Ruby Grant, told JIS News that she is appreciative of the compassionate grant of $10,000, paid under the COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme, which she received in May.

The grant is aimed at assisting persons who are either not formally employed or unemployed. These individuals receive a one-time cash grant of $10,000.

“I did a little babysitting before the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) pandemic, but when it got worse I was left without an income,” Mrs. Grant, mother of two young girls, said.

“Thank God for the Government’s compassionate grant. A one-time payment of $10,000 may not seem like much to some persons, but it helped me a lot. I have never seen something like this being done by any government. I was able to buy groceries with the money, so I really appreciate it,” Mrs. Grant said, adding that she received her grant through the bank.

For her part, Sharon Allen, a mother of four, also expressed gratitude for the $10,000 grant.

Ms. Allen, who sells produce in the community, admits that she was hit hard financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was rough, because sometimes I didn’t know where the next meal was coming from for the kids, and [the grant] came just in time. So, when I got it I was so excited, I went straight to the supermarket,” said Ms. Allen, who collected her grant from a remittance outlet.

Other components of the CARE Programme include:
• General Grant, which is aimed at supporting persons who operate businesses registered either with a Municipal Authority, the Transport Authority or the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo); including barbers, hairdressers and taxi-drivers.

• Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash), which provides temporary cash transfer to businesses in targeted sectors based on the number of workers they keep employed.

• Supporting Employees with Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) – which provides temporary cash transfer to individuals where it can be verified that they lost their employment since March 10 (the date of the first COVID case in Jamaica);

• Small Business Grant, which supports businesses in the MSME sector with sales of $50 million or less.

• Tourism Grant, for businesses operating in the tourism sector, inclusive of hotels, attractions and tours which are registered with TPDCo.

• PATH Grant, through which beneficiaries received an additional PATH payment between April and June.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, on July 7 announced a two-month extension of the Supporting Employees with the Transfer of Cash (SET Cash) and the Business Employee Support and Transfer of Cash (BEST Cash) components of the CARE Programme.

Close to 50,000 Jamaicans will benefit from the extension of these grants.

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