Government of Belize steps in with Covid-19 assistance to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.

The Government of Belize has designated an additional BZD$7 million dollars in the form of the MSME  Support Program to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) which is separate from the BZD$14 million currently administered through the Social Security Board to assist with unemployment relief. This program comprises as follows:·         $2.5 million: Grants to micro-enterprises from across the country, with a cap of $2,500 each.

·         $7 million: Wage subsidies to promote employee retention on the condition that these businesses keep their employees’ Social Security contributions current.

·         $5 million: Soft-loan component limited to approved small- and medium-sized enterprises to assist with working capital in preparation for reopening and accelerating production.

This aspect of the program aims at providing much needed assistance to the sectors and businesses that have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and is focused on employment retention.

Who can benefit from this program?

Beneficiaries of the MSME Support Program will be segmented into three (3) categories determined by the number of employees:

·        Micro Enterprises: which employ 2- 4 persons, including the owner

·        Small Enterprises: which employ 5-20 employees

·        Medium Enterprises: where employ 21-51 employees

For more information on how this money can be used, eligibility criteria, terms and application forms can be found here at the MSME Support Program.