The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has announced a Ninety Million Dollar special support package for members of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries.
The new J$90M package is more than double the J$40M that was originally announced.
Minister Grange said:
“Early in the year, we were able to give small grants to individuals. We were not able to access the $40 million that was allocated by the Ministry of Finance that we could have given a larger number of persons. So the Ministry of Finance has now finalised arrangements to not just to give us the 40 million — that we were not able to use last year — but an increase. So we are looking at a total of $90 million at this time, out of which the individual grants will be given. And then next year we will look at other categories that would be eligible for the grants.”
Minister Grange thanked the Minister of Finance, Dr Honourable Nigel Clarke, for responding to her consistent representations on behalf of the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries.
Effective immediately, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is accepting applications for “grants of $60,000 per individual.”
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Minister Grange estimated that one thousand individual grants will be awarded.
Minister Grange said:
“Whatever your skills are; as long as you’re a practitioner in the industry, you can benefit. If you’re an actor, a singer, a songwriter; we’re talking about the stagehands, engineers, selectors, sound system operators, owners of sound systems, people in [the] film [industry]. So it’s a variety. Once you meet the criteria, you will benefit.”
There are three main criteria. The beneficiary must be registered on the Ministry’s e-Registry. Those who are not on the e-Registry can register within a few minutes on the Ministry’s website (www.mcges.gov.jm). Additionally, the beneficiary must be a member of an established industry organisation such as JaRIA or JAFTA; and must either have an account with any Jamaican bank or an NCB Prepaid Mastercard to facilitate payment of the grant.
“I think that the Entertainment, Culture and Creative Industries sector was probably greatly impacted more than any other sector and so it was necessary for us to see what we can do. Even now as the restrictions are eased, entertainment events are still restricted,” said Minister Grange.
Minister Grange is encouraging members of the sectors to go to the Ministry’s website at www.mcges.gov.jm and click on ‘ECCI Covid-19 Grant Application’ to apply for the grants.
“It’s an easy process, and it’s a process that we’re hoping will help persons in the sector.”