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Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding

Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding

About the BEDC Covid-19 Emergency Grant

During March and early April 2021, the Bermuda Government through the Ministry of Health issued a range of Public Health Closure and Restriction Notices to contain the increase in Covid-19 cases seen in Bermuda.

Businesses targeted by the Public Health Closure and Restriction Notices were those identified as more easily facilitating community spread due to larger customer/client capacity.

Of the industries impacted by the Public Health Closures and Restrictions Notice, the Government recognized that some businesses would be the most negatively impacted due to 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 other industries and business types who can operate and generate revenue throughout the closures and restrictions, although in a slightly reduced capacity.

Those earlier closures and restrictions were followed by the more restrictive “Stay at Home” Order issued by the Government which came into effect on April 13th, 2021, requiring all businesses to close except for those exempted.

In response to the new closures and restrictions, BEDC has modified the Covid-19 Emergency Grant Funding to assist all businesses who have been specifically and tangibly affected during March and April 2021.

Specific businesses impacted throughout March and early April 2021 are as follows:

  • Bars
  • Nightclubs
  • Members Clubs
  • Restaurants
  • Gyms
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Movie Theatres
  • Indoor places of Public Resort and Public Recreation
  • Private Schools (not licensed day care businesses who can still operate)
  • Private Camps
  • Tour/Charter Boats

As a result of the mandatory “Stay at Home” Order, further businesses to the above-referenced ones have been impacted, and as such, this Emergency Grant product will also be available to those businesses impacted.

BEDC has initially set aside $1M in Covid-19 funding support provided by the Government for this emergency grant relief.  The total amount of funds available can be increased if determined additional support is needed and demand is high.

As is the case with all BEDC financial products, applications will be reviewed, and funds provided based on need and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

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

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 Wednesday, 14th April 2021.  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 March 2020 and February 2021 as follows:

 

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

 

Re-applying for Funding Support

It is realized that the impacts of Covid-19 have lasted longer than anticipated or desired.  As such, businesses who have been helped previously by the Covid-19 Emergency Grant have the ability to re-apply for additional funding under this programme as long as the request is for Covid-19 impacts on the business as defined above.

Given there are limited funds, priority of funding will be given to first-time applicants to ensure as many businesses are assisted as possible. Businesses re-applying will be required to submit an updated application form as well as updated information about their business.

Businesses will be limited to re-applying once over the life of the programme.  This means the first application and one re-application.

The maximum amount of additional grant funds available for businesses re-applying will be 80% of the maximum funding allowed with the first submission as follows:

 

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 March’s and/or April’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 10 business days from receipt of a complete application.
  • Disbursements will be made 2 business days after receipt of signed grant approval letterDisbursements will be made 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 businesses are facing 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 March and/or April 2021 (i.e. rent, utilities, social insurance, health insurance).
  5. Financial documents confirming business was in operation immediately before its closure (and/or restriction) - 3 months validation of income immediately before closure (and/or restriction).
  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 documents confirming payroll tax is (i) up to date or (ii) payment plan conditions are being met.
  9. Copies of 12 months of business’ bank statements for March 2020 to February 2021 validating annual revenues, bank balances, and bank account info for grant transfer – first and last page of each month of bank statements are only needed which will show total monthly debits and credits.
  10. Filled in 12-month bank statements spreadsheet template showing opening and closing balances and total credits and debits for each month.  Download template here.

 

Re-Application Requirements
  1. Copies of updated invoices/bills for the applicability of the grant for March and/or April 2021 (i.e. rent, utilities, social insurance, health insurance)
  2. Copies of updated financial documents confirming business was in operation immediately before its closure (and/or restriction) - 3 months validation of income immediately before closure (and/or restriction)
  3. Copies of updated documents confirming social insurance is (i) up to date or (ii) payment plan conditions are being met
  4. Copies of updated documents confirming payroll tax is (i) up to date or (ii) payment plan conditions are being met
  5. Copies of additional business’ bank statements for months not previously submitted up to February 2021 validating annual revenues, bank balances, and bank account info for grant transfer – first and last page of each month of bank statements are only which will show total monthly debits and credits
  6. Filled in 12-month bank statements spreadsheet template showing opening and closing balances and total credits and debits for each month.  Download template here.

 

Funding Conditions
  • Submission of online application documents confirms agreement to the grant funding conditions.
  • If in arrears with Government Obligations (Payroll Tax and Social Insurance) 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.

Businesses also have the ability to apply for the Covid-19 Business Sustainability and Continuity Funding programme which provides a combined loan/grant package to assist businesses impacted by Covid-19 since March 2020 with funding to meet overhead needs.

BEDC also provides direct micro loans. These loans can be accessed for businesses who do not meet the requirements of the Covid-19 Emergency Grant programme or the Covid-19 Business Sustainability and Continuity Funding programme; for tangible new startups who are meeting a need during and post Covid-19; and for existing businesses who need additional financing.

BEDC also provides guarantees on larger amounts of financing, such as loans and overdrafts, from various financial institutions suitable for longer-sustained financial support.

BEDC also has a full range of other products from tax reliefs to duty deferments that businesses can take advantage of if they are of benefit to the business and they qualify.

BEDC’s staff can advise of those products during consultation of your business’ needs.

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.