CARIFORUM firms’ response to the 3rd and final Call for proposals under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme has been over whelming.  Approximately 233 applications; 125 Regular Procedures and 108 Accelerated Procedures were received.

According to Kirk Brown, Senior Grant Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), “70 applications out of 125 applications were approved for the Regular Procedures grant. To accommodate the large number of approved applications for the Regular Procedures, Caribbean Export reduced its maximum contribution to firms from €30,000 to €15,000 due to limited financial resources, to ensure that all successful firms could benefit from the Scheme. The Accelerated Procedures applications are still being evaluated and these results will be published at a later date.”

Mr. Brown added that Caribbean Export’s success in receiving more applications from CARIFORUM Countries such as Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is attributed to extensive promotion of the Scheme and training of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Business Support Organisations.

The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, a component of the Caribbean Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (CTPSDP) officially closes October 2010.  The Direct Assistance Scheme is funded by the European Union 9th European Development Fund and provides assistance to companies to address the constraints they encounter as they enhance the capacity, develop new products or access regional and international markets.

For further information on the Direct Assistance Scheme contact Kirk Brown, Senior Grant Advisor Email: [email protected] and Sam Kruiner, Grant Advisor, Email: [email protected].