The Government of Montserrat through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MOFEM), is now accepting applications for financial assistance from individuals and businesses in the tourism sector, as part of the
fiscal stimulus package announced on Wednesday April 1, in response to COVID-19.
This package, which offers direct financial support to employees in the tourism sector, will be for a period of three months in the first instance, to any eligible businesses that are suffering financial hardship and facing the inevitability of having to lay off workers due to COVID-19.
This programme is targeted at tourism related services most impacted by COVID-19 with special consideration for companies and sole proprietorships, for whom the majority of their income is earned in the following sectors:
- Tourist accommodation providers
- Tour operators, including both land- and marine-based
- Transportation services
- Other tourism-related businesses
This package will provide a direct cash injection into businesses to allow for the continued payment and employment of full-time workers at a maximum of 80% of their gross salary, with a ceiling of no more than $3200 (80% of $4000) per employee.
This will be based on the previous six months’ salary level. Therefore, if an individual in the tourism sector was paid $3,000 per month for the past six months, that individual would receive $2400 (80% of $3000). Income Tax would still be payable but at the new tax rates.
$3,200 is the maximum amount payable under this scheme to each person, but will depend on the level of salary that person has received in the past six months. It could be less than $3,200.
To apply, individuals must complete the ‘COVID-Related Financial Support: Heavy Impacted Sectors (Tourism)’. The form can be completed and submitted online on google docs at the following link: https://forms.gle/csVAdbzuRwh5Fa1A7, or download and complete the excel version of the form available on the Government website at the following link http://www.gov.ms/pubs/ministry-of-finance/. The completed form should be submitted via email to MoFem.Gom@gmail.com and addressed to Colin Owen, Financial Secretary. Applications can ONLY be made using the forms specified above and must be submitted electronically.
The deadline for forms to be submitted is Thursday April 30, 2020.
The following information is required in order to process the application.
- Name of the business
- Name of registered owner
- Tax registration number
- Name and address of each employee you are claiming for, and proof of salary.
- Confirmation of business account number into which the funds should be transferred.
The MOFEM is also informing applicants that their applications will be assessed using existing tax and other records, and owners/employers may be asked for further supporting information to complement their claim.
Owners/employers must also provide a declaration that more than 75% of the business’ income is derived from the profit of a business in an eligible sector. To be clear, this incentive only applies if your major (primary) source of employment income is from the Tourism Sector.
The application will be processed and payment made within 10 business days to your business bank account. The bank account details must be provided as no cash payments will be made. Payments will be made directly to the employers’ Bank Account to allow them to continue to make salary payments and keep staff employed during the crisis; as the business is now closed or has ceased to operate due directly to the COVID-19.
The Government of Montserrat formulated this package of support understanding the increasingly difficult financial situation facing many businesses on the island due to the ever growing COVID-19 crisis globally. GoM is aware that businesses and individuals will face difficulty in maintaining operations, especially in areas of tourism, transport, and restaurants.
Source: Government Information Unit press release