More PRYME grants being awarded today
Eighty additional persons will be awarded grants through the Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises (PRYME) programme today.
The announcement of the new awardees will be made this afternoon at an event at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Today’s disbursement, which amounts to over $600,000, will represent the second batch of persons to receive funding for their business ventures through PRYME.
This afternoon’s event will also see the launch of the web application portal for the program which was first announced during the 2020 Budget address and was introduced to fill a gap in existing programmes for entrepreneurs.
PRYME is being fast tracked as one of the stimulus measures in the face of the economic fallout being experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representatives from the first batch of 81 recipients received their certificates of award during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at the Ministry of Finance conference room.
Speaking on radio last week, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves noted that while many persons are benefitting from the program, the committee is being asked to look carefully at all applications. He said that persons whose applications are declined may request a review.
Gonsalves said for example, there was a young male applicant “who had a little enterprise” and was asking for EC$9000 but was denied by the PRYME Steering Committee because he had been recently convicted of a criminal offence.
“… And that should not have been a bar,” said Gonsalves while adding, “I could understand that if you just got convicted for buggery and you want to open a hostel for boys as a money making exercise, it would give pause,” said the Prime Minister while stressing that in dealing with initiatives like PRYME, instances of this nature will arise.
Last month, Anthony Regisford, the chairman of the PRYME Steering Committee told SEARCHLIGHT that the applications for PRYME grants had increased following the initial disbursement.
There are three tiers of grants under the PRYME programme — amounts below $5000, between $5000 and $15,000 and between $15,000 and up to $40,000.
Requests may be for a mixture of cash and other inputs, like equipment.
The PRYME programme was initially designed for persons between 18 and 40 years old. But due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on existing businesses, grants are also available for persons over 40 via PRYME Plus, as well as persons in the creative industry who have been affected.