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Grenada government announces second stimulus package

Grenada government announces second stimulus package
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. (FILE)

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ST GEORGE’S – The Grenada government, acknowledging that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic “is far from over” says it has initiated a second stimulus package that will benefit a wide cross-section of the population, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell in a radio and television broadcast to nation on Tuesday, said that his administration has recognised the “tremendous financial impact of the pandemic” on the population.

“Government has initiated a second stimulus package that will benefit a wide cross-section of the population, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Already, the COVID-19 Economic Support Stimulus Secretariat, at the Ministry of Finance, has processed more than 1 500 applications with more than 500 approvals to date,” Mitchell said.

He said beneficiaries approved for income support have already started receiving payments on October 1 and that those approved under SEED, will receive their first payments on October 15.

“In addition, 55 small business loans worth about EC$600 000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) and qualifying under the stimulus package, have already been approved, to help business owners recover from the impact of the pandemic and to stimulate operational growth and development,” Mitchell added.

The Prime Minister  said that given the positive trend now being seen in the country and the optimism of the health experts, the Cabinet agreed on a number of measures that would in essence, provide an easement of the regulations that were in place for the last few weeks.

He said effective October 5 and continuing until October 19, the nightly curfew would continue, but would be adjusted from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. (local time) and that the no-movement weekends would be discontinued.

“This measure has certainly helped to curb the rate of infection, but health experts have continuously indicated that we must learn to live with COVID-19, therefore it is imperative that we seek to resume a degree of normalcy while continuing to safeguard our people.”

Mitchell said that retails stores across the country will be allowed to resume normal operations but the government was encouraging store managers to maintain 50 per cent capacity in store at all times and ensure that workers and patrons alike, are following the recommended protocols, including the proper wearing of masks, appropriate physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and regular hand sanitisation.