The Chairman of the Labour Fund ‘Tamkeen’, His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa reaffirmed that Tamkeen has begun disbursing financial grants for the Business Continuity Support Program, pointing out that only a small percentage of the enterprises that have applied to the program do not qualify. In order to qualify, a business must have fewer than 50 employees, or revenue and capital under one million BHD.
H.E. Shaikh Mohammed added that the Business Continuity Support Program is designed to provide small and micro enterprises with targeted support by offering financial grants intended to cover a portion of their operating expenses, noting that the initiative’s budget is limited to BHD 40 million.
His Excellency noted that more than 1,600 applications did not meet the requirements of the support program, adding that unsuccessful medium and large enterprises could have benefited from support from the Liquidity Support Fund, which has been established in partnership with a number of local banks.
H.E. Shaikh Mohammed underlined that both the Business Continuity Support Program and doubling the size of the Liquidity Support Fund are part of the government’s comprehensive economic stimulus package launched to minimize the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy and ensure the Kingdom’s economic recovery is swifts.
Furthermore, H.E. Shaikh Mohammed noted the important role Tamkeen is playing in supporting the private sector, ensuring that Bahrain’s entrepreneurs and their enterprises continue to drive the Kingdom’s sustainable economic development and diversification in spite of current challenges. As part of this commitment, His Excellency highlighted that Tamkeen will reopen the application window for the Business Continuity Support Program for small and micro enterprises from 6th – 11th May 2020.
Additionally, as of 5th May 2020, taxicab drivers, driving instructors, and kindergarten workers who are not registered within the SIO will be allowed to apply to the Business Continuity Support Program.
H.E. Shaikh Mohammed stressed that the main goal of this support program is to lend support to small and micro enterprises that have been adversely affected by current circumstances, particularly those that have been founded or co-founded by Bahraini businesspeople.
The Chairman of Tamkeen concluded by underlining that the Business Continuity Support Program has been developed in order to serve the largest possible segment of small or micro businesses and provide greater financial stability during this challenging time.