COM approves VT60,000 one-off grant for eligible Small and Medium Enterprises
Minister for Finance and Economic Management, Johnny Koanapo, has confirmed that the Council of Ministers (COM) has approved the payment of a one-off grant of VT60,000 to every eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
Any business that earns an annual turnover of VT200 million or less is considered a SME.
The grant will be available only to the holder of a valid business license. Evidence of a valid business license includes either a business license that was issued or renewed in the 2019 financial year or a receipt for the business license fee that was paid between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020. Any SME that does not have evidence of a valid business license will not be eligible to receive the grant.
Businesses registered on or after 1 April 2020 will not be eligible for the grant, but they will receive a business license fee waiver for the 2020 financial year. As previously announced, businesses that have paid their 2020 business license fee by 31 March 2020 will be exempt from paying a renewal fee in 2021.
Under this SME package, a grant of VT60,000 will be paid for each valid business license that an individual or a company holds. Minister Koanapo confirms that the Government will spend around VT400 million to implement the SME grant payments from the overall COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package.
He explained that “the Government is committed to using its limited resources fairly to help all sectors of the economy through these extraordinarily difficult times, which includes supporting the small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country”.
There is no restriction on business license categories, so all holders of a valid business license may apply regardless of the type of business or its location within the country. This will include the bus and taxi service industry, market vendors, wholesale and retail shops, the construction and manufacturing sectors and all other business license categories.
The Minister stresses that the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic will continue to hurt the economy for some time to come. “As a government, we must continue to exercise prudent financial Management so as a country we are prepared to face more difficult times ahead,” he said.
The Minister calls on all people within the business community, various business associations and groupings to work with government officials in a spirit of cooperation to ensure the smooth implementation of the package.
“There is no precedent for what we are going through and we will get through this much better if we all pull together,” said Minister Koanapo.
The SME grant is not an automatic payment. Business license holders must apply to the Department of Finance and Treasury to claim the grant. Application forms will be made available by the Department of Finance and Treasury and its various stakeholders such the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Land Transport Authority and the Market Vendors associations points. The forms will also be made available from the Department of Finance and Treasury’s website: .