The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has launched a MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM FOR TOURISM SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED ENTERPRISES. The MGP will be providing financial incentive for tourism 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 benefits of the grant should extend beyond the recipient firm.
Interested in receiving funding for your project? All interested enterprises must first submit an Expression of Interest via an online profile.
Who can submit an Expression of Interest?
- Entities which serve a valuable role in quick industry recovery efforts
- Entities with a minimum of 4 employees and a maximum of 52 employees.
- Priority will be given to projects with annual revenue of 100,000BZD to 1,500,000 BZD.
- Priority will be given to small and medium enterprises with workspace of up to 372 sq. meters of manufacturing space of firms engaged in in manufacturing or industrial activities and medium enterprises
Why should you submit an EOI?
- If your entity is deemed eligible, you will proceed to Phase 2, which involves applying for the grant.
- A representative will contact you to inform you of your eligibility on or before March 1, 2022.
Priority will be given to:
How to submit an EOI?
- Interested entities must submit an online “Expression of Interest” form by completing and submitting the form (you can find it below). To submit an EOI, you must read and agreed to all Guidelines and conditions.
When Can I apply?
The deadline for this submission is February 21, 2022 at 4 p.m. You should hear back whether you were eligible to proceed to the application process by March 1, 2022.
Answer: The Matching Grants Program will benefit Small and Medium Enterprises operating in the tourism sector and enterprises in the tourism value chain. The types of SMEs to which the MGP is addressed includes Food & Beverage, Accommodation, Adventure Tourism, Transportation, Travel Trade, Events & Conferences, Attractions, Tourism Service, Tourism Education & Training and other Tourism Related Services.
Applicants are subject to the following restrictions and requirements:
- Firms must have at least 51% Belizean/CARICOM simple majority ownership. In the case of the accommodation sector only, a minimum of 25% or more local equity is required, provided that at least 51% of staff are local/Caricom nationals. In the case of tour operators, as determined by law, Belizean/CARICOM ownership should be 51% and above.
- Must possess a business registry, TIN number, Social Security registry, trade license or any other means of business verification as determined by the business community.
- Where regulated (e.g., by BTB or other regulatory body) they must meet special licensing requirements (e.g., trade lisence board, liquor lisence board etc.)Entity must be classified as a small or medium enterprise as defined by the Beltraide Act n.50 of 2017 (Small enterprises possess < 4 but less than > 21 full time workers with an income <$100,000 and less than $500,000), (Medium enterprises possess < 21 but > 52 full time workers with an income <$500,000 and less than 1,500,000)
- Grants will be awarded in accordance with the established matching grant formulae as set out in the Guidelines for Grant Applicants.
- Applicants must demonstrate that grant funds will be used to benefit the tourism sector and foster economic growth.
- Applications must be accompanied by ALL required supporting documents as requested by the Grants Administration Unit.
- Applicants may submit a maximum of one (1) application.
- Applicants agree to allow the BTB to publicly announce their participation in the Matching Grants Program for Tourism Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, and their success story be used to promote the program.
- Priority will be given to entities that target at least one of the main areas of intervention as stated in the guidelines.
Answer: The Program will operate on the basis of matching funds with up to 60% of the costs of the project being met by the loan collaboration between the International Development Bank and the Government of Belize. The balance of 40% must be financed through cash or in-kind contributions from the applicant’s own resources, from partners’ resources, or other such sources. The minimum counterpart SME contribution should be at least 40% of the project costs. The counterpart contributed by the SMEs could include up to 60% of in-kind contribution from the applicant’s own or partners’ resources. 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 Matching Grants Program for Tourism Small and Medium Sized Enterprises works.
Example: Total Grant Award BZE$18,000.00
- For a Project costing up to BZE$30,000, applicant requests that 60% of costs (BZE$18,000.00) are funded by the matching grants scheme
- Applicant contributes remaining 40% of costs (BZE$12,000.00)
- Applicant contribution of 60% (in kind) and 40% cash will be BZE$7,200.00 (inkind) & BZE$4,800.00 (cash) respectively
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 contribution forms must be completed by a license valuator.
Grants will be awarded in accordance with the established matching grant formulae as set out in these guidelines. Minimum sized awards BZE$18,000.00 and Maximum sized awards BZE$60,000.00. In case the applicant is a tourism association or group of enterprises (minimum four enterprises) the grants will be up to BZE$100,000.00.
Grant Limitations – Ineligible expenditures for Project Proposal Budgets
Grant funds cannot be used for the following:
- Working capital.
- Recurrent costs.
- Retroactive incurred expense.
- Tobacco, alcohol, arms, biohazard materials and waste.
- General Sales Tax (GST) and other taxes.
- Debt and debt service charges.
- Provisions for losses or debts.
- Interest owed.
- Currency exchange losses, fees, and penalties.
- Costs of transfers charged by the bank of a beneficiary.
- Excessive or reckless expenditures.
- Payments to employees of public institutions.
- Procurement of second hand “minor” equipment.
- IDB/BM list of non-eligible firms as a result of prohibited practices.
- Projects with adverse environmental and social impact.
- Projects that require legislative approvals that will cause delays.*
- Projects that are against local and/or national laws.
- Projects that cannot be completed within the specified timeline of the MGP.
- Projects with a direct or indirect negative impact on critical cultural sites.
- Projects with a direct or indirect negative environment impact.
If there is any doubt as to the eligibility of items for funding not covered within these guidelines, please contact the Project Coordinating Unit for clarification.
Grants will be distributed by a disbursement agency. Successful grantees will be contacted by the Project Coordinating Unit. The grant will be distributed in various tranches: 25%, 35% and 40% respectively: Example (Funds displayed are in Belize currency)
** Receipts amounting to the total grant award and cash contribution for each disbursement phase must be reviewed and approved before another disbursement can be made**
Answer: Potential applicants are requested to submit an expression of interest by completing and submitting their Expression of Interest by February 21, 2022.
Answer: The Expression of Interest review will take up to 5 days after which eligible and ineligible applicants will be notified in writing of the review status. For unsuccessful EOIs a reason from the committee will be prepared for each applicant.
Answer: The review will take approximately 5 days after the submission deadline which is March 1, 2022
Answer: Business Plan must be submitted along with the online application form. Business plans may also be available in printed versions if deemed necessary by the Project Coordinating Unit.
Answer: Approval Requirements will be carried out in two phases:
Expression of Interest Process:
- Expression of Interest Forms must be completed and submitted on or before the stipulated deadline.
- Expression of Interest Forms must meet ALL criteria to advance to the Application Process. Please note Expression of Interest is not considered as the final application process. Expression of
- Interest will be assessed to advance to the application phase.
- All expression of interest applicants will receive a notification of their successful/unsuccessful status within 15 days.
- Potential Applicants must attend training/workshop as mandated by the Project Coordinating Unit.
- Application Form must be fully completed along with supporting documentation.
- The 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 only be accepted if deemed necessary by the Project Coordinating Unit.
Answer: Business Plan Template will be provided during training sessions or via email after vetting process is completed.
Answer: Updates on the application can be received via the Project Coordinating Unit
Answer: Application template will be provided with request for supporting documentation.