PRYME to provide ‘rides’ for small businesses
Ten successful PRYME Rides applicants to be given auto rickshaws.
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September 29, 2023

PRYME to provide ‘rides’ for small businesses

The Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises (PRYME) grant initiative is evolving and come October 1 this year, interested persons can submit applications for the next phase of the project dubbed ‘PRYME Rides’.

PRYME Rides will see 10 successful applicants given auto rickshaws. This mode of transport, also called tuk-tuk, is a widely used form of urban transport in many countries around the world. The vehicle features a small cabin at the front for a driver operating handlebar controls (like that of a motorcycle) and a dual purpose space at the rear.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, speaking on Monday at the opening of a project called “Shops at Glen” told the  gathering that when the government started PRYME, many people requested money to purchase vehicles to make their businesses mobile.

He said that PRYME was designed to give small business owners a grant of between EC$2,500 and EC$40,000 and the managers of the initiative thought that giving persons money for vehicles would have “buss” PRYME. “Buss” is a local word for bankruptcy or financial failure.

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Camillo Gonsalves

“…And then the people get the vehicle and they flossing round town and they ain’t doing their business, so we said we can’t use PRYME to buy vehicles for people.

“But there were people who had good ideas,” Gonsalves said, while adding that some persons like farmers wanted transportation to take their produce from one place to the next and some persons wanted to make their food business mobile while some wanted to do deliveries.

The finance minister said the rickshaws, now going by the name “PRYME Rides”, were given to this government by a friendly government a few years ago who suggested we use them as ambulances.

He said the vehicles were sitting in a warehouse at Ottley Hall and they have decided to clean them up and turn them into “PRYME rides”.

“…So if you have a business that requires you to be mobile, we are going to have about 10 of these to see if your mobile business can work,” Gonsalves said while encouraging interested persons who want to use a PRYME ride to make their business mobile to apply as the application process will soon be made available in the media.

“Make sure that you know how to drive a motorbike, this is not for people to say I have a license I does drive me friend Swift…,” Gonsalves said on Monday while adding that the application process will take about six weeks and the rickshaws will be distributed around Christmas time/December.

Gonsalves also noted that PRYME is evolving and they have learnt lessons since the launch as the ministry of planning did a survey of people who got PRYME grants and the information will be put to work.

He noted that when PRYME was started, they expected to receive about 400 applicants and give 200 grants, but there were 5000 applications and so far over 1300 recipients.

“…And the value is over EC$7.5 million in the hands of people that they don’t have to pay back,” Gonsalves said.

The Finance Minister added also that some persons who have applied did not get the money in time and have moved on, so there is going to be a fresh application period in 2024.

The PRYME grant was created to help push young entrepreneurs to the next level of their entrepreneurial journey. Persons applying must submit a business plan.