Launch of Matching Grant Program For Tourism Small and Medium Sized Enterprises


Belize City, Belize, Monday, January 31, 2022 – Today, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially launched a call for Expression of Interest (EOI) for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) interested in applying for Grant Funding under the “Matching Grant Program for Tourism Small and Medium Sized Enterprises”.

The project has earmarked $2.4 Million Belize Dollars to contribute to the growth of the tourism industry through the support of the Inter-American Development Bank.

The project launch was held at the Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Plaza. Guest speakers included Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Inter-American Development Bank Representative, Ramiro Lopez Ghio, Director of Tourism at the Belize Tourism Board, Evan Tillett and Chief Tourism Officer, Raymond Mossiah.

During his remarks, Minister Mahler, said “Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) represent over 70% of our private sector employment and income in Belize and in tourism, they are the backbone of our service industry. MSMEs also provide inclusive growth that leads to a more equitable distribution of wealth.”

Minister Mahler also noted that the program will have two special projects complementing it. The first  will be the development of a Gastronomy Corridor in Belize City to begin our quest to take Belize’s culinary experience to the global stage. The second, will be the establishment of two Music Entertainment Studio facilities, which will serve as a catalyst for Belizean artists to refine their art, and a platform for music to take on its merited role as a critical segment in the tourism value chain.”

The goal of the Matching Grant Program (MGP) is to identify, develop and implement growth opportunities within the tourism industry, for the benefit of all stakeholders. Further, it aims to contribute to the development of Belize’s economy via the enhancement, expansion and promotion of the tourism industry.  The Matching Grant Program will provide financial incentive for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to support projects that generate positive effects and are beneficial for the Belizean tourism ecosystem productivity and host communities.  The grant will assist the SMEs in overcoming a clearly defined set of market failures.

The MGP will support projects by SMEs in the selected project categories:

  1. Projects to implement COVID-19 bio-protocols in Belize.
  2. Projects to enhance or preserve Belize’s natural capital or contribute to the mitigation or adaptation of the tourism sector ecosystem.
  3. Projects which enhance the human capital of the tourism sector entrepreneurship and/or workforce in Belize.
  4. Projects with the purpose to boost technology investment and adoption in the tourism sector entrepreneurship and or workforce in Belize.
  5. Projects with the purpose to invest on market intelligence and promotion strategies.
  6. Projects with the purpose to create a more efficient critical mass.

The MGP will benefit SMEs operating in the tourism sector and enterprises in the tourism value chain: Accommodation, Food & Beverage, Adventure Tourism, Transportation, Travel Trade, Events & Conferences, Attractions, Tourism Services, Tourism Education & Training and Other Tourism Related Services.

SMEs who wish to express interest must complete and submit the required Expression of Interest Forms for assessment and eligibility. The deadline for this submission is February 21, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. Visit BTB’s Website or Facebook page for more information on the guidelines and eligibility for the Matching Grant Program.

Leave a Reply