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Jamaica Finance Minister: ‘Small Business Grants to be paid May’

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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke

#KINGSTON, May 13 (JIS): Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says the verification of Small Business Grant applications is underway and payments will be processed following the review of the Auditor General.

“We expect payments of Small Business Grants to be made in May,”                      Dr. Clarke said during a statement to the House of Representatives on May 12.

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

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The Finance and the Public Service Minister explained that the grants are for businesses that file income tax and payroll returns indicating that they have at least one employee.

“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 $100,000.00, is a large sum, and was calibrated to be for businesses that employ other Jamaicans,” Dr. Clarke said.

“All small businesses, whether or not they employ others, are eligible for the Small Business Tax credit of $375,000.00 introduced for the first time in March of this year. Small businesses that file taxes will not pay income taxes on their first $1.5 million earnings,” he added.

Meanwhile, eligibility verification activity for 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.

            Dr. Clarke said 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 noted.

            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 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 the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA), Maxi Tours Limited and Jamaica Co-operative Automobile and Limousine Tours Limited (JCAL) who apply and qualify will receive a one-time General Grant of $40,000.

JIS NEWS by LATONYA LINTON

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Caribbean News

Jamaica agricultural advancements despite bad weather

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Credit:JIS

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Jamaica#Agriculture, April 11, 2024 Despite the bad weather conditions in 2023, especially the drought period, Jamaica was able to achieve its second highest domestic crop production on record with over 700 thousand tonnes of local crops produced. This was announced by state minister in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Franklin Witter, on Sunday April 7, at the 41st annual National Farmers’ Month church service held in Trelawney.

 

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Caribbean News

Guyana Wildfires

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Wildfires#Guyana, April 11, 2024 – Wildfires have been affecting Guyana, the most recent in the Timehri Community on the north-eastern side since April 4, according to a release from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO).

The report says according to PAHO, as of April 5, 28 people have been displaced in a shelter in the Santa Aratack Village. Additionally, the JRC Global Wildfire Information System, also featured in the release, says the total burnt area is more than 16,500 ha.

This comes nearly a month after a 93 year old man was killed by a wildfire in north West Guyana.

Reports say the entire region is dealing with wildfires including Venezuela, Central America and Mexico with a record number of fires, and a major increase compared to the same period in 2023.

 

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Caribbean News

Efforts to deliver education to Children in Haiti – Schools still closed

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Education, April 9, 2024 – With schools across Haiti still shut down due to intense gang violence, UNICEF is making efforts to deliver education to students, working with the Ministry of Education. They are trying to deliver distance learning through radio, television and e-learning platforms and right now, solutions are being explored through Haiti’s national radio station. Announced in a press release by UN News on April 7, this comes as UN agencies warned that Haitian children are suffering from not just a lack of education but also primary exposure to violence.

 

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