Table of Contents:

 

Guidance for Business

All non-essential operations are currently ordered to be closed and essential staff are to attend the workplace only if they are unable to work remotely from home. 

The Department of Labour & Pensions encourages employers and employees alike to follow the guidelines outlined by the Chief Medical Officer and the Public Health Department. All employers owe their staff a duty to protect their health and safety and should have plans in place to manage business continuity in the event of COVID-19 impacting their operation.

As part of this, employers should communicate with employees to assure them that the employer is monitoring the situation and taking steps to plan for disruption. The communication should also relay the current Government advice in relation to infection prevention, including in relation to hygiene: that regular proper hand washing is the best way to protect ourselves against infection.

While the Labour Law (2011 Revision) does not address this specific situation, it does establish the required minimum standards and allows employers to establish conditions of service more advantageous to any employee than the minimum employment standards established by this Law.

The Department of Labour & Pensions will make every effort to work with employers and employees during this time to ensure the proper observance of the Labour Law and its Regulations. 

For more information regarding employees, leave, severance and pay, click here.

 

Temporary Waiver of Application Fees

COVID-19 has caused significant economic dislocation across the globe, with the Cayman Islands being no exception. In an effort to arrest this disruption that the Government continues to propose a number of relief measures to assist businesses. The following measures are now in place for trade and business licencing application fees:

  • Payment of trade and business licensing application fees from 1 May to 31 July 2020 have been waived
  • Late fees from 1 March to 31 July 2020 will also be waived for all applicants

Information can be found in the Trade and Business Licensing (Temporary Reduction in Fee) Regulations, 2020.

Members of the public can also visit the Department of Commerce and Investment website, www.dci.gov.ky for trade and business licensing and other information.

 

Centre for Business Development

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development provides support to small businesses across the Islands. The services being offered to the public will begin with a focus on business continuity training and coaching. Read more.

Small and medium-sized enterprises with an urgent need for assistance with cash flow management, business impact analysis or those that need to redesign or re-think their business models are urged to contact the Centre at CICBD@gov.ky or 244-8009Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.

Detailed in this article on Small Business Continuity are key factors businesses should review and address.

Tips for Small Businesses download

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Tips to Help Your Small Business Survive #1 download

Tips to Help Your Small Business Survive #2 download

Tips to Help Your Small Business Survive #3 download

Support to the Business Community download

Business Operations and Other Training Available download

 

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development (CICBD), in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, will continue its webinar series for businesses affected by COVID-19 on Thursday, May 14, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The session titled, “Moving Your Business Online”, will cover topics such as Evaluating Business Models, Going the E-Commerce Route, Assisting Clients and Customers with the Transition of Your Business and Online Business Safety.

To join the webinar via Zoom, interested persons can register at https://gov-ky.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMuf-Crqz8jG9XoKbZJl6OgO7XyClpgszvR.

The webinar will be hosted by CICBD in partnership with John C. Bodden and Megan Ritch of Cayman Aisles Web Services (CAWS). CAWS provides online retail, service, event and fundraising/crowdfunding options to local businesses and organisations through its website, and ecommerce platforms.
 
The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development was opened in March this year to provide support to businesses across the Islands especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Micro & Small business Relief Measures

The Cayman Islands Government will will continue to place priority on flattening the curve of new cases and do all that it can to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and give these Islands the best chance of recovery.

As part of the efforts to arrest the economic disruption of COVID-19, the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure will implement a number of relief measures to support micro and small businesses announced by Minister Joseph Hew on Monday, 6 April 2020:

The Low Interest Loan Programme will provide financial and non-financial support to micro and small businesses affected by COVID-19.

It is intended for micro and small businesses that require help to meet their operational cash flow requirements. This loan programme will be administered through the Cayman Islands Development Bank and will benefit businesses that are 100% Caymanian-owned, have been operational for at least twelve (12) months prior to March 2020, and meet the definition of micro and small business as set out in the Trade and Business Licensing Law.

For clarification as per Trade and Business Licensing Law:

  • Micro business means a business that employs less than five persons, not including the owner and has an annual gross revenue of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or less;
  • Small business means a business that employs up to a maximum of twelve persons, not including the owner, and which has an annual gross revenue of up to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

The programme will provide each borrower with a fully-backed government guarantee.

The amount available to:

  • Micro business will be up to a maximum of $20,000.00
  • Small business will be up to maximum of $50,000.00

There will be a six-month period of moratorium during which the bank will not collect principal or interest payments. The loan will be given for a period of five years at 1% interest in the first year, subject to increase thereafter.

The application form for the Low Interest Loan Programme is linked to below and the process for this loan programme will be through the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development.

Funding for the Low Interest Loan Programme will be provided by the Cayman Islands Development Bank.

MSME Loan Application Form Submission Guidance

Please note: You do not have to complete the financial section of the loan application form. If you meet the criteria for the loan, you will be assigned a Technical Assistant (a qualified accountant or other professionals) to provide guidance on this section.

Technical Assistants will help you with the following, among other things:

  • Document preparation to access financing, grants or other stimulus products;
  • Preparation of business plans, strategic plans;
  • Business Forecasting; and
  • Business Impact Analysis.

The assistance will take the form of one-on-one consultation and coaching sessions.

In addition, all beneficiaries of the loan programme must under-go training with the Centre for Business Development. Five training modules are associated with the loan. At least one is mandatory; completion of the others will be based on an assessed need.

Once you have completed the application form (minus the financial section), please send the application and required documents to loan.cicbd@gov.ky and a member of our team will get in touch with you when your application is being reviewed.

The Technical Assistance Programme will involve the use of paid qualified accountants and other professionals to provide technical guidance and coaching to micro and small businesses to help them navigate this difficult period and keep their financial obligations to financial institutions.

This programme is directed particularly at recovery from COVID-19.

Technical Assistance will initially be provided for one year and the programme of assistance will include, among other things:

  • Document preparation to access financing, grants or other stimulus products;
  • Preparation of business plans, strategic plans;
  • Business Model Design/Innovation;
  • Business Forecasting;
  • Business Impact Analysis; and
  • Human Resource Services

The assistance will take the form of one-on-one consultation and coaching sessions with clients.

The Technical Assistance Programme will be funded by the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.

Download the Technical Assistance Programme flyer

Training and coaching will be integral to the programmes in order to help micro and small businesses navigate the new world of business that will emerge post COVID-19.

The training modules will cover areas such as

  • Managing Cash Flow in a Crisis;
  • Harnessing the Entrepreneurial Mindset;
  • Managing Changing Human Resource Needs;
  • Business Forecasting; and
  • Business Model Innovation.

Micro and small businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the training opportunities which are free of cost.

Participation in at least one of these sessions will be a pre-requisite for accessing the available loans.

The Training Programme will be funded by the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure.

Download the Training and Handholding Programme flyer

The Micro and Small Business Grant Programme targets three thousand vulnerable micro and small businesses and is intended to provide initial assistance of $1,000 monthly to selected business for three months.

The objectives of this programme will be to:

  • Provide working capital assistance to micro and small businesses affected by COVID-19 which have enough of a domestic market to render the businesses recoverable; and
  • Aid in the re-purposing and transition of businesses that had a large tourist market and have demonstrated the ability to transition to a larger domestic market.

In terms of eligibility criteria for the grant programme, a business must have been operational for at least 12 months prior to March 2020.

It must meet the definition of micro and small business as set out in the Trade and Business Licensing Law and must evidence COVID-19 related increase in receivables and/or decrease in sales as at March 2020.

Applications for the Micro and Small Business Grant Programme will be done through the Centre for Business Development.

The Micro and Small Business Grant Programme will be funded by Government Emergency Funding.

In terms of programme administration, the validation and verification checks will be carried out by the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development. There will be programme guidelines for applicants and monitoring post disbursement.

For clarification as per Trade and Business Licensing Law:

  • Micro business means a business that employs less than five persons, not including the owner and has an annual gross revenue of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars or less;
  • Small business means a business that employs up to a maximum of twelve persons, not including the owner, and which has an annual gross revenue of up to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

 

Business Continuity

At this time, all but essential Government entities are closed and civil servants continue to work remotely. To access the business services available online for the public please visit www.eservices.gov.ky

 

 

Cyber Awareness

There has been a significant upsurge in cyber related fraud attempts as cyber attackers seek to take advantage of the chaos caused by COVID-19. All of this means that as well as having to adjust to new norms arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to safeguard themselves on digital platforms. Here are some tips from the Ministry of Commerce, Planning, and Infrastructure on how to stay secure:

 

Read More

 

Government services

Read more about what government services are available here.

Learn more about temporary Government opening hours here.

Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC)

Customer care or general questions:

Employment services for Caymanian job seekers:

Assistance with JobsCayman registration or posting job ads:

Finance (refunds and payments):

Training and development opportunities

Work Permits, Caymanian Status & Permanent Residency:

You may also post or send a direct message on www.facebook.com/worccayman.

 

Curfew Exemptions

We are all eager to carry on with our lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately we are not operating in a “business as usual” situation and there are special rules that apply to us all during this crisis and during both the “soft” and “hard” curfew. Some of those rules are embodied in the government’s Public Health Regulations, which are intended to prevent, control and suppress the transmission of COVID-19. All violations are being strictly enforced by the RCIPS. To that end, only essential businesses are allowed to operate at this time. 

Essential & Exempted Services Application Information

 

 

Working From Home?

Working from home? Here are some tips to keep you productive.

 

Impact Assessment Study

Business owners are encouraged to complete the impact assessment instrument prepared by the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development. 

Business Impact Assessment survey.

 

 

Latest News From Local Businesses

The Chamber of Commerce has created the platform chambercovidupdates.ky to ensure its members have access to the latest information.

 

Immigration & Workforce Questions

Workforce Opportunities & Residency Cayman (WORC) answered a number of frequently asked questions relating to work permits, immigration and permanent residency, which were last updated on 15 April 2020. Read more.

 

More Questions?

See our FAQs.