Jamaica News: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Government is finalising arrangements for the implementation of the $25-billion stimulus package, which includes a $10-billion coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency provision.
This will provide support for individuals and entities that have been or are likely to be adversely impacted by COVID-19.
“Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, have given April 9 as the date for the commencement, and we are all working to achieve that,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He was speaking during a digital media briefing, hosted at the Ministry on Thursday (April 2).
Mr. Bartlett assured that all target stakeholders who are affected will benefit from the contingency provision.
“The package is going to be comprehensive, in terms of how it impacts every single worker of the industry. So, if you are a contract worker, a full-time worker, a craft vendor, a transportation partner/stakeholder, or a small hotel owner you will get a benefit [because] we have looked at it in a broad way to ensure this happens,” he added.
Meanwhile, several local tourism industry stakeholders have further bolstered the Government’s COVID-19 response programme with the provision of more than US$1 million.
Mr. Bartlett said these include hotels, attractions and organisations, among them, Sandals Resorts International, Issa Foundation and Chukka Caribbean Adventures.
This, he said, is in addition to support that the establishments are extending to staff within their organisations.
The Minister pointed out that the number of entities expected to support the national effort “is increasing”.
“The responses are still coming in and some cases are not immediately quantifiable. But I want the public to appreciate that the industry is making sure that all the necessary support that the nation requires to come through this period of crisis is there,” Mr. Bartlett said.
Among the contingency provisions are $1.2 billion in grant support for small business operators; and grants to support businesses retaining employees with taxable income of $1.5 million or less.
Source: JIS News