by Marlon Madden
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Barbados and the rest of the region have just over a week to apply for grants of up to US$15,000 to be used on various technical projects to enhance their operation.
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Union had opened a grant call for applications under its Technical Assistance Programme (TAP).
It was officially launched at the end of May and the deadline has now been extended to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.\Caribbean Export in collaboration with CDB conducted a survey to understand the current and expected impact of the pandemic on SMEs across the region.
With an overwhelming response for the need for funding with favourable terms and conditions over the short-, medium- and long-term, Caribbean Export and CDB have developed the TAP in response to this need. The objective of the TAP is to provide direct support to the region’s MSMEs on a non-reimbursable basis, given the challenges being experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the TAP, the MSMEs are able to apply for grants of up to US$15,000 to be used on various technical assistance projects including, but not limited to, resource efficiency and renewable energy, digitisation of business, marketing and promotions, building resilience, purchase and upgrade of capital goods, certification, capacity building and protection of intellectual property rights.
It is to also provide support to facilitate activities focusing on business continuity, facilitate the increase of exports within the Caribbean and/or international markets; and to capitalise on the benefits of the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME), or any other bilateral or multilateral arrangements signed by the countries of the region within the region or with ACP or European Union (EU) partners. A suite of capacity building tools to complement the technical assistance is also going to be developed and provided under the programme.