For the next 3 months, April through June 2020 in the first instance, the Government of Grenada will take the following actions:
- Work tirelessly to avoid staff layoffs and the loss of livelihood in the tourism sector by providing $20 million worth of payroll support to the hoteliers, restaurants, bars, small travel agents, and income support to public buses, taxi drivers, tourist vendors, and other such identified hospitality-based businesses
- Adjust the small hoteliers’ facility at Grenada Development Bank to support all hoteliers by injecting an additional $7 million to this facility
- Work with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to provide unemployment benefits support due to the fallout of this pandemic initially estimated at $10 million
- Suspend the 2% increase in NIS payments for the period
- Encourage the trade union movement to work with the business community to support the use of vacation leave as a first option in the event of the businesses having to resort to skeleton staff
- Expand the public sector investment programmes in an effort to boost employment at the community level
- Suspend the monthly advance payment on Corporate Income Tax for the period
- Suspend the instalment payments on the Annual Stamp Tax for the period
- Expand the small business soft lending facility at the Grenada Development Bank by an additional $5 million
- Place on the price control list certain cleaning items to prevent price gouging at this time. This will include but is not limited to hand sanitisers, bleach, hydrogen peroxide and hand soap
- Follow all necessary exemption protocols to provide incentives to private labs and medical facilities procuring items to support the fight against Covid-19
- Increase farm labour support to immediately boost agricultural production islandwide. Government is also giving consideration to the support for farmers and fish exporters who have recently been affected as a result of international travel restrictions
Additionally, now that the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Tribunal has delivered its ruling in the arbitration between the Government of Grenada and WRB, Government commits to ensuring that the cost of electricity will be reduced by 30% for the months of March, April and May in the first instance, to all consumers.
This will not apply to a few companies that have special concessionary arrangements. While it will not be reflected on the bill in the immediate period, future billing cycles will highlight this reduction as the administrative process is finalised.
Our financial institutions have also agreed, in principle, to provide a moratorium on principal and interest payments to their clients on condition, for the 3-month period in question, in the first instance.
Friends, the measures outlined are intended to be preliminary, as we continue to work toward longer-term actions, as this crisis unfolds.