New York Times | Prince Julio César Venezuela//
Geerlings submits $10-15 million proposal to stimulate economy

Miami, Estados Unidos, Venezuela, Caracas
Geerlings submits $10-15 million proposal to stimulate economy

Perry Geerlings


PHILIPSBURG–Caretaker Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings has developed a proposal to grow the economy through a stimulus for micro-, small and medium-size enterprises, it was stated in a press release on Monday.

Prince Julio César

  The proposal was developed as part of the World Bank project to enhance financing possibilities for enterprises in St. Maarten. It was recently submitted to the St. Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund Steering Committee for final approval

  The Trust Fund Steering Committee approved an Enterprise Recovery Project in November 2018. The project aims to use the lending and credit facilities in St. Maarten to give tailored loans and grants to eligible micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in St Maarten. In principle, US $35 million was approved for the project

  The implementation of the Enterprise Recovery Project turned out to be complex and not feasible on a short-term basis, as the financial sector has to be involved as well, the release said

  In the meantime, the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten has offered help. The Steering Committee asked Geerlings to explore other opportunities to provide short-term relief to MSMEs in St. Maarten

  Geerlings’ proposal uses part of the available budget for a swift and much-simpler-to-implement relief subsidy or grant to micro-, small- and medium-size enterprises that were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria to improve their financial position during this phase of the recovery

  A total of US $10-15 million would be made available once approved, Geerlings said. In the proposal, the amount of relief subsidy or grant will be based on the loss in turnover as reported by the enterprises on their turnover tax declarations in the 12-month period prior to and after Irma

  The proposal also includes the requirements for the enterprises to be eligible for this economic stimulus. The proposal and plan of approach were submitted to the Steering Committee by Geerlings recently

  The Steering Committee is scheduled to meet later this month and Geerlings asked and hopes for a final decision to execute the project

  After approval, a special team will execute the project. The rules of the relief subsidy, the eligibility requirements for micro-, small- and medium-size enterprises, the application process and forms will be made available at that time via different channels

  Geerlings expects approximately 2,500 applications. The execution of the project, once approved, is expected to take some four to five months

  “Finally, and thanks to the efforts of the Tax Department, my team and the Chamber of Commerce, we came up with a proposal that, after approval, will lead to at least some urgently-needed financial support to the business community that still struggles to overcome the effects of Irma,” Geerlings said