BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has announced the award of BB$8,081,874.06 (€2,992,287) to firms and business support organisations (BSOs) across the region via its flagship programme, the direct assistance grant scheme (DAGS) as part of the regional private sector development programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the tenth European Development Fund (EDF).
Caribbean Export published the call for proposals for both the accelerated and regular procedures grant facilities under the DAGS on January 17, 2014, with a deadline for submission of application on March 7, 2014, receiving a total of 341 applications from across the region, of which 136 firms and BSOs were awarded grants.
On Friday, the Agency disclosed that 16 of these grants being awarded were to firms in Barbados, with a cumulative value of BB$1,003,543.80. The full list of grant awardees can be found on the Agency’s website.
These 16 firms in Barbados represent the manufacturing, professional services and creative industries sectors. Three grants were awarded to BSOs, namely the Barbados Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC), the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers COSCAP).
These BSOs are “essential to fostering the development of businesses across sectors that play an integral role in supporting the economy of Barbados,” commented Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
The private sector grant beneficiaries in Barbados include Blue Waters Productions, BICO, Barbados Diary Industries Limited, A.C. Woodhouse Incorporated, Harris Paints International Limited, Armstrong Manufacturing Limited, Caribbean Consultants Limited, Wendy Hill Limited, Allahar Associates, West Indies Rum Distillery, Studio Blue Architects Inc. and Policy Networks International.
The objective of the scheme is to provide financial support to firms looking to increase their export capacity, either to new or existing markets. In particular, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME).
The funding provided to beneficiaries is often utilised to modernize equipment, upgrade facilities to meet international food and quality standards, enhance products and packaging, implement alternative energy systems, market and promote products and services, train staff, and develop collateral materials.
To date, Caribbean Export has awarded 475 SMEs and BSOs across the region via direct assistance grants totalling €8,372,277.82. These figures represent the call for proposals (CFPs) during the ninth European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean trade and private sector development programme (CTPSDP: 2008-2010), and the tenth EDF regional private sector development programme (RPSDP: 2011-2014).
The DAGS is a reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), individuals, and business support organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services.