23 April 2020
St Helena Government (SHG) has received feedback from businesses, primarily in the construction sector, that the current shortage of raw materials such as cement, timber and steel has prevented them from undertaking work and led to cash flow issues. Recognising the importance of maintaining a strong private sector and supporting employment in the private sector, SHG is offering an interest free loan to businesses that demonstrate financial hardship as a result of material shortages.
The owner of a business or sole proprietorship in any sector would be eligible to apply provided they can demonstrate that shortage of a key production input will prevent them from undertaking work and that this will result in financial hardship. A key production input would be a raw material used by the business. It must be an input into production and therefore would not be stock or assets. Applications must be made by Thursday, 14 May 2020. The application form and guidance on eligibility can be found on the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-information/.
In addition, SHG is still accepting applications for support for businesses impacted by COVID-19. ‘Hardship Support for Highly Impacted Sectors’ remains available to owners of companies and sole proprietorships for whom more than half of their annual income is earned in one of the following sectors:
- Tourist accommodation providers
- Tour operators, including both land and marine-based
- Bars and clubs
- Other tourism-related businesses.
Any business that has an employee required to quarantine can also apply for ‘Extended Sick Leave Support’. Details for both programmes are also available on the SHG website at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/government/public-information/.
23 April 2020