The Government of Grenada is taking further steps to help safeguard the survivability of small hotels in Grenada, as they face the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having made an additional $5 million dollars available through the Small Hotel Loan Facility at the Grenada Development Bank as part of the economic stimulus package, Government is now making the option more attractive and accessible to hoteliers.
The Cabinet agreed on Monday that the 10-year repayment terms will include a grace period of one year, with small hoteliers having the option to defer the interest and/or the principal payments. In addition, the loans will be administered at a reduced interest rate of 2% in the second year and 3% thereafter.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, said, “Through this concessional loan facility, Government is expecting to help stimulate recovery in the sector as well as help to ensure the long-term survivability of small hotels. The tourism sector has been especially hard-hit by the pandemic, with many of the smaller properties being left cash-strapped. By streamlining the application process and making the loan facility more accessible, it is our hope that small hotels can better position themselves to continue being significant contributors to the local economy, as collectively, they provide scores of jobs to Grenadians.”
The Small Hotel Loan Facility was first announced by the Government as part of the 2019 budget, with an initial injection of $2 million. It was intended to help proprietors undertake upgrades/minor refurbishment, marketing and training of staff, with the aim of boosting overall quality in the sector.
With the advent of COVID-19, Government increased the available sum to $7 million and expanded the potential uses to include payroll support and operational expenses as part of the COVID-19 ready strategy.
Dr. Mitchell said, “It is anticipated that when the country’s borders re-open, small hotels will see an uptick in business. I encourage them to be ready to take advantage of this possibility by implementing the required protocols for the accommodation sector and ensuring that staff is properly trained. Restarting our economy is important but we must also be prepared to do it in a manner than safeguards public health and safety.”
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