The financial lifeline that was established two years ago to assist micro and small businesses is receiving additional funding from another government agency.
Gerry Amos, Manager of the Barbados Trust Fund Ltd., said that entity is in line for a $4 million top up from its counterpart, FundAccss.
In a brief update on Wednesday, Amos told Barbados TODAY that $2.5 million has already been transferred, adding that it was being moved from the Wage Subsidy Fund of FundAccess, which was set up this year as part of Government’s assistance for the small business sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is $4 million that came from the Wage Subsidiary from FundAccess. We received $2.5 million of that, and FundAccess will transfer the other portion when they have cleared the wage subsidy backlog,” he said, adding that he was hoping that this would be finalized by next week.
The $20 million wage support fund at FundAccess was established for firms considered too small to be eligible for Value Added Tax (VAT) refund.
Under the scheme, firms would be able to get up to $2,500 per month for two months to assist with payment of wages for up to five people each month, once they commit to maintaining at least 75 per cent of staff and is registered with the Small Business Association, the Barbados Revenue Authority and the National Insurance Scheme.
The scheme was extended beyond the initial May/June period. However, by the middle of June it was reported that only about $452,000 in loans were processed and disbursed from the $20 million wage subsidy fund.
Meanwhile, the trust fund, which was set up at the end of October 2018, provides loans of up to $5,000 to qualifying applicants with an opportunity for them to borrow twice the amount upon successful repayment of the initial loan.
At the start of this month, a supplemental for $6 million was voted for both funds for the purposes of on-lending.
Amos confirmed that the funds were recently made available to the Trust Fund Ltd.
“The government has committed $6 million as a supplementary and that is in our account as we speak,” he said.