Tamkeen board chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa said that businesses who qualified have started to receive the funds divided into three monthly instalments.
“Tamkeen has begun the disbursements of the financial grants for the Business Continuity Support Programme and only a small percentage of the enterprises did not qualify for the support,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.
“This was because their enterprise’s size did not meet the criteria, as their staff may have exceeded 50 employees or their rate of revenue and capital exceeded the value of BD1m.”
He explained that the more than 1,600 applications did not meet the requirements as they were medium and large enterprises that could benefit from the BD200m Liquidity Support Fund, which is held launched in partnership with a number of local banks.
Shaikh Mohammed also said that all applications were evaluated based on the size of the company, and the programme aims to help small and micro enterprises that are among the worst affected by providing them financial grants to cover a part of their operational costs.
“The financial grants are part of the programme’s limited budget, which is estimated at BD40m and it will be impossible for an increase in the grants,” he added.
The initiative is part of the government’s BD4.3 billion stimulus package to offset the financial impact on businesses and individuals due to the pandemic.
The stimulus package is equivalent to 29.6 per cent of Bahrain’s annual GDP.
“Tamkeen has been supporting the private sector, especially under the current circumstances, by helping entrepreneurs and their enterprises,” said Shaikh Mohammed.
Starting from yesterday, the programme also covers financial support for taxi drivers, driving instructors and kindergarten workers who are not registered under the Social Insurance Organisation.
“The above-mentioned categories may apply to the support programme by filling out an application form that allows them to obtain their compensations,” explained Shaikh Mohammed.
“The main goal of this support programme is to identify the emergency cases of the adversely impacted enterprises, particularly the small and micro enterprises that were founded or co-founded by Bahraini businessmen.
“Tamkeen is working to reduce the side effects inflicted on these enterprises by providing the necessary support based on their size, and the programme’s budget.”
The GDN reported yesterday that about 40 gym owners submitted a petition to Tamkeen urging a review of the financial grant provided to them, claiming it barely met part of their operational costs.
Salon owners and gold traders have also applied for Tamkeen’s programme, while the hospitality sector is still waiting to get a green light on a proposal submitted by Tamkeen to pay 50pc wages of their staff.
To mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic, the government has already waived electricity and water bills, along with municipal fees and labour fees, while it is also paying the wages of Bahrainis in the private sector for three months and has asked banks to defer loan instalments for six months.
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