#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.
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