Small business grants to be paid in May


Small business grants to be paid in May

Friday, May 15, 2020

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Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke says the verification of COVID-19 Small Business Grant applications is underway and payments will be processed following the review of the auditor general.

The COVID-19 Small Business Grant is a component of the Government's COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.

The minister explained that the grants are for businesses that file income tax and payroll returns indicating hey have at least one employee.

“We expect payments of small business grants to be made in May,” Clarke said during a statement to the House of Representatives on May 12. “Individual owners, who have no other employee other than themselves, can make a payroll return for themselves. The size of the small business grant, at $100,000, is a large sum, and was calibrated to be for businesses that employ other Jamaicans.”

He added that all small businesses, whether or not they employ others, are eligible for the small business tax credit of $375,000, introduced for the first time in March.

However, small businesses that file taxes will not pay income taxes on their first $1.5 million in earnings.

Meanwhile, eligibility verification activities for COVID-19 General Grant applicants is now in progress through the collection of registrants' data from the municipal corporations — Early Childhood Commission; Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Transport Authority and other government bodies.

Clarke indicated that in some cases, the Auditor General's Department is conducting a review/audit of data before payments are actioned.

“It is expected that the verification activities will be completed in May and eligible applicants will be notified accordingly. Verification will include matching applicants against approved lists received from the appropriate authorities as well as verification of bank account information,” he said.

Barbers, hairdressers, beauty therapists, cosmetologists, taxi operators, bus operators and market vendors who apply and qualify will receive a one-time COVID-19 General Grant of $25,000.

There is also a one-time general grant of $40,000 for bar operators and nightclub operators who apply and qualify.

In addition, craft vendors and operators of Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA), Maxi Tours Limited, and Jamaica Co-operative Automobile and Limousine Tours Limited who apply and qualify will receive a one-time general grant of $40,000.

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