MSME SUPPORT PROGRAM

What is the MSME Support Program?

The MSME Support Program is a Government of Belize initiative that provides financial relief to Belize’s Micro, Small
and Medium Enterprises in order to help safeguard and promote employee retention, as well as assist MSMEs as they transition and adapt to the economic
challenges presented by the COVID-19.

 

 

What components are included under the MSME Support Program?

  • $2.5 million: Grants to micro-enterprises from across the country, with a fixed sum 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. 

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

 

 How much can a company access under this program? 

Answer:

·        $2,500 for Micro Enterprises under the Grant Facility (Fixed amount)

·        Up to $15,000 for Small Enterprises under the Loan Facility

·        Up to $25,000 for Medium Enterprises under the Loan Facility

 

What can the money be used to fund?

Funds provided under the program can be used for:

·        Retention of employees

·        Financing of working capital: –

o   Purchasing of essential raw materials and production inputs

o   Supporting the promotion and marketing of products and services for
market expansion

o   Diversification of existing products and services based on changing
market conditions

o   Investments in productive assets: machines, equipment, tools, or others
that are relevant to the commercial and operational activity of the company

·        Support in the implementation of nationally required COVID-19 health protocols

 

What are the eligibility criteria that applicants are expected to meet?

Answer: Applicants must:

·        Be a Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise as defined in the Target Group section above.

·        Have been operating the business for at least one year prior to March 2020

·        Be engaged in one of the following areas:

o  Tourism and Leisure

o  Transportation and logistics

o  Agriculture

o  Agro-processing

o  Fisheries

o  Light Manufacturing

o  Creative and Cultural Industries

o  Commercial Free Zones (Note: only eligible for wage subsidy OR employees may directly apply for
Unemployment Relief
)

·        Be Belizean owned, and for incorporated businesses that means shareholding must entail a minimum of 51%
Belizean ownership

·        Must have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.