Tue, 18 Aug 2020 05:15:13 +0000
‘Pay out $50m grant for hoteliers’
The Tobago Business Chamber is calling on the incoming PNM administration to urgently begin disbursing the $50 million grant promised to hoteliers and guesthouse operators months ago.
In March, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced the grant facility to help Tobago hoteliers upgrade their properties during the covid19 lockdown.
On May 20, Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis revealed that small guesthouse operators were to receive $24 million, while small properties and hotels would get $22 million and $4 million respectively.
However, in a WhatsApp voice note on Monday, the chamber's president Martin George said hoteliers are yet to receive their allocations.
"The hoteliers, the guesthouses, the villas, they have all complained and, so far, not one single member has indicated that they have gotten any grant or any part or the promised $50 million allocation that the Government spoke about."
George said the non-payment of the $50 million would be devastating for not just workers in the hospitality sector but also suppliers, farmers and fishermen. Many Tobagonians who were temporarily laid off during the three-month national lockdown on non-essential activity still have not received salary relief and rental assistance grants, he said.