Thursday 24 September, 2020

Minister Hew highlights current initiatives for helping small business

Minister Joseph Hew at the opening of the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development

Minister Joseph Hew at the opening of the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development

During the pandemic and going forward, entrepreneurs and micro and small business owners who require support in navigating the financial and operational challenges resulting from the pandemic have and will be receiving support from the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development which is being operated under the leadership of the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.

As Cayman turns another corner in its suppression and recovery, the needs of the micro and small business sector have also changed.

On Wednesday September 9, Joey Hew, Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure addressed the nation on the facilities and services that are being provided to this critical business sector in Cayman. 

These are as follows.

Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development (CICBD), which held its official opening ceremony on September 1, has been supporting businesses during COVID with advocacy, counselling, increased access to finance and training and advice on topics such as managing cash flow, business impact analysis, business continuity, loan applications and social media marketing.

It is located at Baytown Plaza, on West Bay Road, with offices for business advisors, training room, and a residential business incubator that will house up to twelve (12) start-ups for a period of up to two years, free of charge to them.

Minister Hew has indicated that the CICBD can can play a significant role in supporting small business as Cayman builds back its economy during the pandemic.

Contact the Centre at 244-8009 or via email for more information.

Walk-ins are welcome.

Micro and small grant programme

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development, under the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, began accepting applications for grants and low-interest loans to the micro and small business sector in April of this year. 

The Centre has been coordinating Government’s support in the amount of $14 million which was allocated to the micro and small grant programme, low-interest loan programme as well as technical assistance and training programmes.

The non-repayable grant assistance is intended for micro and small businesses that have a viable market but need financial and business development assistance to successfully navigate the new business environment and is intended to stimulate economic activity among small businesses.

At the close of phase I of the micro and small grant programme in August 1, 528 applications were received.

  • The value of grants approved for payment is $3,468,000. 
  • The total value of government’s commitment stands at $4,353,000.

To date, 82 applications have been received for the low-interest loan programme.

  • Nineteen have so far been approved with a total value of $695,000. 
  • A further 33 applications are currently at the approval stage, with a total value $1,112,000.

As Cayman moves towards a post-COVID stage, the Centre will use the remaining micro and small business grant programme funds for a medium-term economic package that will benefit a minimum of 300 businesses. The new phase of support will cover:

·         Wages;

·         Digital Enablement;

·         Commercial Rent Assistance;

·         Business Process Innovation Grants; and

·         Customised Business Continuity Plans.

Micro businesses will be able to access packages, not exceeding $10,000 while small business may access packages up to $20,000.

There are eligibility requirements to access these support packages. Small business owners are encouraged to contact the Centre at 244-8009 or via email for more information.

Liquor Licence Businesses

In an effort to temporarily reduce the amount of fees incurred by businesses, Cabinet has granted approval for:

  • the waiver of liquor licensing fees in the Sister Islands for September 2020;
  • the waiver of the liquor licensing fees in Grand Cayman for September 2021 for licence holders whose fees were paid as of August 31st 2020.

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