22 accommodation providers are now recipients of grant funding administered by the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association and the Grenada Development Bank to the tune of approximately EC$345,000 through the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Country Assistant Program (CAP).
The CDF CAP was launched in 2011 as a cohesion fund with a mandate to support “disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors” within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by providing grants, loans and technical assistance in order to assist various sectors to grow and become more competitive.
On Tuesday 7 June, Wave Crest Apartments and Grenada Radisson Beach Resort became the latest recipients when they received cheques of EC$23,856.72 and EC$40,500 respectively, at a ceremony held at the True Blue Bay Resort.
Support for Energy Efficiency through the Hotel/Tourism Sector is one of the seven components of CDF CAP, Senior Project Officer, Ministry of Finance, Yolande Newton said, “Thanks to all executing agencies for your cooperation, patience and commitment through the process”. She added, “Today I want to specially thank GDB and GHTA for their resilience and persistent in making this component a success. I know that there were times when it was frustrating, but Government recognises this component as critical and it has been impressive in terms of rate of absorption and output.
Senior Credit Manager, Grenada Development Bank, Donald Williams spoke of the current loan component of the CDF CAP which was launched in May of 2016, to be administered through the GDB in the sum of US$3 Million (approximately EC$8.1 million): “the program basically targets the productive sector. We are looking at agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and creative industries.” He explained that the GDB recognises the creative industries as an import sector which can assist in the development of human resources, resulting in enhancement of the productive sector, which contributes to economic growth.
Owner of True Blue Bay Resort, Russ Fielden, complimented the CDF CAP for its success in implementation of energy efficiency tools and equipment through the program; he went on to explain that the counterpart funding awarded to hotels came about because some hotels closed and others were in danger of following suit due to the global economic recession: “The program went very smoothly, considering the usual handicaps grant funding has, we found the best way to go forward was to actually do the installations and then make the claims for the 50% rebate afterwards.” He added, “The benefits of this program will be long lasting of course, not only in energy saving but also in a reduction of Grenada’s carbon footprints.”
As the funding comes to an end, there is approximately EC$26,000 which the GHTA will use to aid in assisting small accommodation providers to install energy-saving equipment.