MTI shares $3m in grants to SMEs

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon – Ministry of Trade

THE Ministry of Trade and Industry gave grants to 25 stakeholders, totalling$3,483,568.60, last Friday.

The grants were shared out at the MTI’s headquarters in a ceremony in Port of Spain. It also included the announcement of the expansion of a steelpan manufacturing fund facility.

Minister of Trade Paula Gopee-Scoon said the grant fund facility benefited 33 small and medium enterprises (SMEs),giving out a total of $7,080,473.49 in grants since its launch in 2017. Since the fund was introduced last year, grants to SMEs in the yachting sector totalling

$2,281,349.85 have been approved.

The steelpan manufacturing grant facility provided a total of$1,730,247.

“These initiatives and partnership between the government and private sector demonstrate our commitment to economic expansion and advances the diversification agenda of the ministry,” Gopee-Scoon said in a statement at the event.

The ministry said the steelpan facility will be expanded to include the production of sticks, stands, cases and chroming, as well as providing funding of up to $50,000 for participation in local exhibitions and trade shows and up to $200,000 for participation in international exhibitions and trade shows.

Steelpan manufacturers can now also access up to $25,000 in financial support for annual subscription fees for online sales platforms such as Amazon and eBay for merchandising and selling steelpans.

The minister added that government had established a Cabinet-appointed steering committee to further develop the steelpan industry. Its key objective is to provide strategic guidance for the development of a national governance framework for the industry. The committee is chaired by NGC president Mark Loquan.