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Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding

Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding

About the BEDC Covid-19 Emergency Grant

On December 8th, 2020, the Bermuda Government through the Ministry of Health issued a Public Health Closure Notice in order to contain the increase in Covid-19 cases seen in Bermuda during late November and early December 2020.

Businesses targeted by the Public Health Closure Notice were those identified as more easily facilitating community spread due to larger customer/client capacity as indicated by the poster on your left.

Of the industries impacted by the Public Health Closures Notice, the Government recognized that Bars, Nightclubs, Members Club, and Restaurants would be the most negatively impacted due to most of them either not having the ability to operate at all during the closure period or having reduced operating capacity due to scale backs.  This is compared with the other industries and business types who all have the ability to operate and generate revenue throughout the closure, although in a slightly reduced capacity.

The closure notice required that all indoor facilities for bars and nightclubs be closed for at least 2 weeks in December commencing on Tuesday December 8th, with only existing outdoor bars being able to operate with table service only.  It also indicated that restaurants must scale back their operations excluding indoor bars, reduced table sizes, and no parties.

The Government has recognized that there are only a few bars, nightclubs, members clubs, and restaurants with outdoor bars.  As such, it was desirous of the BEDC developing and providing short-term emergency grant relief to those bars, nightclubs, members clubs, and restaurants economically impacted negatively by the closures notice.  The BEDC has created the Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding to assist these businesses.

BEDC has set aside a total of $1M out of the $12M in Covid-19 funding support provided by the Government for this emergency relief.  As is the case with all BEDC financial products, applications will be reviewed, and funds provided based on need.

The BEDC Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding programme will be in place until the funds are exhausted or until deemed no longer necessary.

The Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding is available to all bars, nightclubs, members clubs and restaurants impacted severely by the December 8th public health closure notice.  The grant relief is applicable to existing businesses only and businesses must have been in operation up to December 8th, 2020.   These businesses must fall within BEDC’s definition of small and medium-sized businesses as follows:

Under BEDC’s legislation, a “Small business” is defined as Bermudian-owned and owner-operated business enterprise with –

  1. Gross annual sales revenues of less than $1,000,000; or
  2. An annual payroll of less than $500,000

Likewise, a “Medium sized business” is Bermudian- owned and owner-operated business enterprise with at least 3 of the following attributes –

  1. Gross annual revenues of between $1 million and $5 million
  2. Net Assets of less than $2.5 million
  3. An annual payroll between $500,000 and $2.5 million
  4. Between a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 50 employees; and
  5. Been in operation for a minimum of 10 years
Needs Based & Exclusions

Although available to all bars, nightclubs, members clubs, and restaurants that have been economically impacted by the public health closures, this programme is a needs-based programme and applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine the actual need and the appropriate grant amount applicable if needed.

Although maximum grant amounts have been developed, it is not anticipated that all businesses who apply will need the maximums.  BEDC reserves the right to not approve an application or to approve a reduced amount based on the assessment of need.  The assessment of need takes into consideration the operation of the business before the closure notice.

How will businesses be assisted?

Entrepreneurs with businesses that are impacted can go online to www.bedc.bm to apply for the emergency grants as of 9 am on Thursday December 17th, 2020.  Applications will only be processed online.  Funds will be provided to cover immediate overhead expenses due over the month, excluding salaries which are being met by the Government’s Unemployment Benefit.

Approved grants will be provided to cover only the following overhead expenses:

  1. business location’s rent;
  2. business’ utilities;
  3. social insurance premiums for employees; and
  4. health insurance premiums for employees.

Funding thresholds will remain divided into the 5 bands of financing established in April 2020 as part of BEDC’s Covid-19 Business Continuity & Sustainability Funding Programme.  The first 4 Bands are allocated to small businesses and the last band is earmarked for medium-sized businesses as defined by BEDC’s legislation.

Maximum grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $7,000 per business depending on the size of the business defined by its annual revenue generated over the last 12 months between November 2019 and October 2020 as follows:

Funding levels are maximum amounts validated by submission of invoices and bills (payables) for the 4 overhead expense areas identified above.

Process and Details

The details of the emergency relief grant financing programme are as follows:

  • Online application submission only
  • No application fee required
  • No credit check fee required
  • No interest fees
  • No repayment of grant funds required
  • Needs-based programme – need for the grant must be proven
  • Funds for the December’s payables up to the maximum grant amount if needed
  • Applications are reviewed and approved by BEDC Executive Management Team
  • Decisions will take place within 5 business days from receipt of a complete application
  • Disbursements will be made 1 business day after approval is received through online transfer to the business’ bank account

Qualifications & Obligations

Please ensure that you have reviewed the requirements below and have all the necessary information needed to apply. Please complete and compile all information below, BEFORE filling out the application.

As with any financing programme businesses will have meet certain criteria to qualify and will have conditions attached to any approved funding.  BEDC recognizes the challenges impacted bars, nightclubs, members clubs, and restaurants are facing currently and the stress a business owner is under.  As such, our goal is to deliver this emergency grant relief programme in a clear, simple, efficient, and attainable method.  Below lays out the criteria and conditions of the programme.

Application Requirements
  1. Must be registered with BEDC
  2. Completed online application form required
  3. Copy of Government issued ID required
  4. Copies of invoices/bills for the applicability of the grant for the immediate month (rent, utilities, social insurance, health insurance)
  5. Documents confirming business was in operation immediately before the closure – 3 months validation
  6. Copies of documents confirming current lease
  7. Copies of documents confirming social insurance is (i) up to date or (ii) payment plan conditions are being met
  8. Copies of (i) last payroll tax filing (July 2020 and October 2020) or (ii) documents confirming payment plan conditions being met
  9. Copies of 12 months of business’ bank statements for December 2019 to November 2020 validating annual revenues, bank balances, and bank account info for grant transfer – cover page of each month only showing total monthly debits and credits
Funding Conditions
  • Submission of online application documents confirms agreement to the grant funding conditions
  • If in arrears with Government Obligations business must have an agreed payment plan with conditions being met
  • Within 15 business days of receipt of grant funds, businesses must email BEDC at [email protected] copies of the confirmation of the use of the grant funds for the approved application purposes.
  • Failure to use grant funds for the approved purposes or to submit confirmation of use of grant funds within 15 business days immediately results in grant funds converting into a loan to be repaid by the business back to BEDC within 30 business days of receipt of funds.

How Do I Apply?

Fill Out & Submit Application

Click the Apply Now button to fill out the application form, supplying us with all information and documents required. Before beginning your application, please take note of the requirements above that outline all information needed in order to process your application.

*Applications will be processed within 5 business days of BEDC receiving of ALL necessary information and requirements.