Cayman: Tourism Ministry supporting businesses affected by pandemic
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell has indicated that his ministry is supporting micro, small, medium and large enterprises in the tourism value chain.
"They are being supported in a number of ways because it is recognized that in time, they will be part of the driving force behind the industry’s recovery," he said, during a presentation in the Legislative Assembly on October 23.
The minister advised that when that time comes, businesses will need skilled employees to operate effectively, and as such, programmes are being developed in partnership with WORC, UCCI and the School of Hospitality Studies to upskill Caymanians to give them the best possible chance to join the tourism industry and flourish when it reopens.
The opportunities he highlighted are as follows:
- The Department of Tourism’s PRIDE webinars;
- WORC's assistance with employment and educational courses;
- Tourism courses at the University College of The Cayman Islands.
The minister also highlighted the economic stimulus programme offered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, working in collaboration with local retail banks, to provide tourism businesses with access to low-interest loans. As well as the repayments being deferred for one year. Government is also guaranteeing a percentage of the loan.
The Ministry of Commerce has also spearheaded three programmes to assist small, medium and micro-businesses.
"At the start of this year, no-one could have predicted how life would change on a global scale, or how deeply our tourism industry and economy would become affected, virtually overnight," he said.
"In the face of unprecedented adversity, this Government's response to the crisis has been exemplary and has protected lives and safeguarded our islands from the worst ravages of the coronavirus. In much the same way, the variety of relief packages and assistance programs and initiatives that this Government continues to put in place clearly demonstrates that this is a caring Government that puts the needs of our people first and can be depended on in good times and bad."