Over 700 PRYME grants approved to date

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Over seven hundred (700) PRYME grants have been approved to date.

This was revealed by Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Sehon Marshall while speaking on the WakeUpCall with Christal and Tha Fugitive this morning (Tuesday Sept. 15).

“I know there are about 7 batches approved so far. I believe 5 batches have had disbursements. That would total about in excess of 700 people,” Marshall explained.

PRYME – PROMOTING YOUTH MICRO ENTERPRISES, is a grant programme spearheaded by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, Hon. Camillo Gonsalves that grants up to EC$40,000 to Vincentian business owners between the ages of 18 – 40 years old.

According to Marshall, when the programme was thought of by the Finance Minister, it was expected that 200/250 applications would have been received and so, the programme was crafted to accommodate that number. However, it has surpassed expectations.

“The programme has been so popular where instead of having 200/250 applicants, there have been 100 applicants per week,” Marshall informed.

Since the commencement of the programme, the criteria has been extended to reach a wider range of applicants. Persons over 40 were made eligible through PRYME Plus.

“…I’m really happy about the level of interest that has been shown by our young people, by our entrepreneurs,” Marshall expressed. “People are coming forward with ideas and I know that the natural order of things is that some businesses will fail but hopefully, those who have tried and may not be able to have a business that would last 5-10 years down the road, would learn something from the experience and not necessarily squander that experience, but use it to go forward.”

The Press Secretary spoke on the benefit of receiving a grant as opposed to a loan from a financial institution. The New Democratic Party (NDP) has proposed reinstating a development bank in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“…The good thing is, for that young individual who’s 23, who came out of school and hadn’t gotten a job yet, that grant is not something they have to struggle about paying back, to have bailiffs coming to their house and embarrassing them and so on.”

“…Imagine you have a little job somewhere and people showing up on your work because the CBI development bank with the low interest rate loan coming after you because you ain’t paying. That’s not what we’re doing at the ULP… we’re offering grants,” he remarked.

Marshall informed that ‘thousands’ of PRYME applications have been received.

In conclusion, Marshall spoke on the sustainability of the programme.

“I believe that while the programme will continue as the PM has said, it will not continue with the 700 recipients in subsequent years, but based on the Prime Minister’s pronouncements and that of the Finance Minister, PRYME will continue.”