The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has launched a Business Recovery and Enhancement Matching Grants program for micro and small businesses in the tourism industry. The Program aims to assist in revitalizing Belize’s tourism sector in the micro and small enterprises; providing financial aid and support to accelerate the economic and social benefits to local people in a viable business model.
Interested in receiving funding for your project? All interested enterprises must first submit an Expression of Interest via an online Business Profile.
Who can submit an Expression of Interest?
- Entities which serve a valuable role in quick industry recovery efforts
- Entities with no greater than 5 employees.
- Priority will be given to projects with annual revenue less than $250,000.00 BZD.
- Priority will be given to entities playing a key role in quick industry recovery efforts led by BTB including but not limited to Cruise Tourism reopening, and Gold Standard certification;
Why should you submit an EOI?
- If your entity is deemed eligible, you will proceed to Phase 2, which involves applying for the grant.
- The Matching Grants Program aims to support strategic tourism projects by assisting these businesses.
- The grants will include a particular focus on tourism health and safety protocols which is a strategy being implored by all major tourism economies and businesses. This is to adjust to “the new norm” in a post-covid era.
Priority will be given to:
Am I eligible to submit an EOI?
- Applicants must support business recovery initiatives due to COVID-19 and/or implementation of health and safety protocols to adjust these small businesses to the new post-COVID-19 norm.
- Applicants must be Belize citizens or legally established permanent residents who are owners of tourism small businesses, including artisans and other individuals are eligible.
- Applicants must be Belizean Citizens, legally established permanent residents, a registered business or registered community groups of no more than 5 members.
- Assistance to further development in Orange Walk (Holpatin Corridor), Southeast Coast (Dangriga, Hopkins & Placencia) and other emerging destinations as defined by the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora’s Sustainable Tourism Program II. These areas include Corozal District, Toledo District, Mountain Pine Ridge (Caracol and Chiquibul) and Caye Caulker.
How to submit an EOI?
- Interested entities must submit an online “Expression of Interest” form by completing and submitting the Business Profile (you can find it below). To submit a Business Profile, you must have read and agreed to all Guidelines and conditions.
When Can I apply?
The deadline for this submission is July 30, 2021 at 4 p.m. You should hear back whether you were eligible to proceed to the application process within 1-3 weeks.
Answer: Applications must support business recovery initiatives due to COVID-19 and/or implementation of biosecurity protocols to adjust MSEs to the new post-COVID-19 norm. Belize citizens or legally established permanent residents who are owners of tourism small businesses, including, food and beverage services, cultural (music) service providers, artisanal and gift shops, tour guides and tour operators, transport providers, vehicle and equipment rentals are eligible.
Applicants are subject to the following restrictions and requirements:
- Applicants must be Belizean Citizens, legally established permanent residents, a
- registered business or registered community groups of no greater than 5 members;
- Grants will be awarded in accordance with the established matching grant
- formulae as set out in the Guidelines for Grant Applicants;
- Grants will be awarded to Micro and Small Enterprises as specified
- Applicants must demonstrate that grant funds will be used to benefit the tourism sector
- and foster economic growth;
- Applicants must be prepared to participate in a pre-selection over the phone, online or in
- person interview if requested;
- Applications must be accompanied by required supporting documents; and
- Applicants may submit a maximum of one (1) application.
- Applicants agree to allow the BTB to publicly announce their participation in the
- Business Recovery and Enhancement Matching Grants Program for Micro and Small
- Enterprises, and their success story be used to promote the program.
- Priority will be given to entities playing a key role in quick industry recovery efforts led
- by BTB including but not limited to Cruise Tourism reopening, and Gold Standard
Assistance to further development in Orange Walk (Holpatin Corridor), Southeast Coast (Dangriga, Hopkins & Placencia) and other emerging destinations as defined by the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora’s Sustainable Tourism Program II. These areas include Corozal District, Toledo District, Mountain Pine Ridge (Caracol and Chiquibul) and Caye Caulker.
Answer: The Program will operate on the basis of matching funds with up to 80% of the costs of the project being met by the grant. The balance of 20% must be financed through cash or in-kind contributions from the applicant’s own resources, from partners’ resources, or other such sources. To fulfill these matching funding requirements, the applicant must demonstrate within their budget that their match (through sponsorship, private investment, and/or contribution in-kind) is part of the total cost of the proposal. Matches should be clearly shown within the overall budget.If awarded grant support, the grantee must provide documentation of the total amount expended on the project/investment within the final evaluation report.
The following examples are provided in order to better illustrate how the funding for the Business Recovery and Enhancement Matching Grants Program for Micro and Small Enterprises works.
Example: Grant Award of BZ$5,000.00
This example applies to the Micro Sized project total cost:
- For a Project costing up to $6,250, applicant requests that 80% of costs (BZ$5,000.00) are funded by the matching grants scheme
- Applicant contributes remaining 20% of costs (BZ$1,250.00)
- 25% minimum of the applicant’s BZ$1,250.00 contribution must be in cash (BZ$312.50)
Example: In Kind Contributions
The Following are examples of the types of eligible in-kind contributions that applicants can contribute:
- Use of equipment
- Use of land
- Already existing infrastructure which would otherwise have to be leased/rented for the project.
For budget preparation, in-kind contributions must be quantified in monetary terms according to the average rates paid in the project area.
Answer: Grants will be awarded in accordance with the established matching grant formulae as set out in these guidelines. Minimum sized awards BZ$1000 and Maximum sized awards BZ$5,000.
Grant Limitations – Ineligible expenditures for Project Proposal Budgets
Grant funds cannot be used for the following:
- Salaries for staff
- Direct purchase of buildings/property
- Purchase of land
- Purchase of vehicles
- GST payments on single large items
- Utilities and expenses associated with general operations
- Payment of existing loan
If there is any doubt as to the eligibility of items for funding not covered within these guidelines, please contact the Grants Program Administration Unit for clarification.
Answer: Grants will be distributed by a disbursement agency. Successful grantees will be contacted by the Grant Administration Unit.
Answer: Potential applicants are requested to submit an expression of interest by completing and submitting a Business Profile by July 30th 2021.
Answer: The review will take 1-3 weeks
Answer: The review will take 7-10 business days.
Answer: Business Plan must be submitted along with the online application form. Applicants will be allowed to save and retrieve application for 1 day only.
Answer: Approval Requirements will be carried out in two phases:
Expression of Interest Process:
- Business Profile must be completed and submitted on or before the stipulated deadline.
- Business Profile must meet ALL criteria to advance to the Application Process. Please note Expression of Interest (Business Profile) is not considered as the final application process. Expression of Interest will be assessed to advance to the application phase.
- Potential Applicants must attend training/workshop as mandated by the Grant Administration Unit.
- Application Form must be fully completed along with supporting documentation.
- Business Plan must be completed and submitted together with the Application Form.
- Both Application Form and Business Plan must be submitted on or before the stipulated deadline.
Answer: All Applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee, except those which have been rejected based on the Administrative and Eligibility Review. The evaluation will consider the business viability, financial health and capability, technical viability, employment generation. In addition, the value of the cash and in-kind contribution being made by the applicant is evaluated.
Answer: Resubmission is not allowed.
Answer: Yes, the application must be submitted online. Printed applications will not be accepted.
Answer: Business Plan Template will be provided during training sessions.
Answer: Updates on the application can be received via the Grants Administration Unit.
Answer: Application template will be provided with request for supporting documentation.