PR – The Government of Grenada is delivering on its promise of financial support for taxi drivers who have been particularly hard-hit since the country closed its borders as part of the national strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Given the plight of some of its members who have been without an income for several months, executive members of the National Taxi Association appealed to Government for assistance to help protect their livelihood.
Government therefore decided to make a concessional loan of $300,000 available to the National Taxi Association. The money will be disbursed through the Small Business Development Fund of the Grenada Development Bank.
Prime Minister, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell said Government continues to be inundated with requests for assistance.
He said, “The significant economic fallout from the pandemic has created urgent needs among persons in many sectors of the economy. In the past year, Government has expended significant sums, providing stimulus payments to various categories of persons. The requests are still coming and therefore we continue to examine how best to help those in need, even with the significant decline in revenue earnings. With such continued suffering among some of our people, it should not be difficult to understand that Government must use its limited resources to help as many as possible.”
Sixty taxi drivers will benefit from this latest Government initiative, and while arguments have been put forth for more persons in the transportation sector to receive assistance, the target beneficiaries are those with no alternative source of income.
Beneficiaries will receive a loan of $5,000 each, with repayment to be done over a six year period. A two-year moratorium will be provided before the monthly payments become due.
General Manager of the Grenada Development Bank, Mervyn Lord, said the institution is once again pleased to partner with Government in rolling out the stimulus package.
He said, “As the premier development banking institution in Grenada, initiatives such as this help to widen the impact we are having on the population. Over the past few weeks, we have been finalising the details of this initiative, in collaboration with the Government and the National Taxi Association, and we have now disbursed the loan funds. We have been very diligent in setting the parameters for beneficiaries and our accountability measures will ensure integrity in the roll-out of this initiative.”
Taxi-drivers will each be able to access their loan funds from the association and the repayment to GDB is a collective responsibility, spearheaded by their association. The interest rate offered for the loan is 1.5%.