Table of Contents:

 

Guidance for Business

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.

 

 

Policy & Sanitation Guidelines for the Tourism Industry

Following collaboration with Government partners such as the Ministry of Health, Department of Environmental Health, and collaboration with private sector stakeholders and principles of international health entities such as Public Health England, the Department of Tourism has developed standards of practice to establish industry guidelines for sanitation.

The Cayman Islands tourism industry is comprised of many business categories that both directly and indirectly service our visitors:

  • Hotels
  • Guest Houses & Apartments
  • Attraction Operators
  • Dive Operators
  • Public Transport
  • Retail Operators
  • Restaurants & Bars
  • Tour Operators

Guidelines have been created for each category to provide operators in the Cayman Islands with guidance on safety and health-related measures, in response to the global pandemic COVID-19. Each operator is responsible for ensuring that current regulations and legislation of the Cayman Islands Public Health Law regarding the prevention, control and suppression of COVID-19 is adhered to. 

The Department of Tourism has also created a document to provide tourism businesses in the Cayman Islands with a template for the drafting of their own COVID-19 policy.

Download the Guidelines

 

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 244-8009 Monday 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 & Infrastructure is running a webinar series for businesses affected by COVID-19.

To find out about upcoming webinars, email CICBD@gov.ky

A business incubator at the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is set to open on 24 March, 2021.
The business incubator will house start-ups and business owners who do not currently have a work space from which to operate. It is expected that this will benefit up to twenty (20) micro and small business owners and entrepreneurs, at any one time.
The residential space will be made free of charge for up to two years. In addition to the space, they will have access to:

  • Laptops and other office equipment;
  • Business advisors right there at the location; and a
  • Special advisory panel – consisting of legal, accounting and other business professionals.

A one-time payment $3,000.00 has been approved as a stipend to business owners who applied to Phase II of Government’s micro and small business grant programme and were not successful. Eligible business owners need not reapply, they will be offered this stipend automatically.

 

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.

 

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

 

 

Curfew Exemptions

From Sunday 21 June, most businesses are allowed to operate in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. You can read details on this here.

 

 

Working From Home?

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

 

 

Creating Family-Friendly Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Employers

Understanding the significant impact that the lack of childcare services has on families as the country gradually re-opens the economy, it is critical for the Cayman Islands Government (the Government) to give working parents the time, information, services and resources they need to cope with the crisis. Part of this effort involves developing guidance on family-friendly policies and practices for employers to support families, single parents, and employees with limited or no childcare options in the short, medium and long-term.

Read more on Creating Family-Friendly Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidance for Employers.

 

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 are being updated as required. Read more.

 

More Questions?

See our FAQs.

 

Key Regulations

 

Anyone over the age of five must wear a mask or cloth face covering in a public place, including an educational institution, if you are unable to, or do not maintain a
distance of six feet from every other person.

You do not have to wear a mask if:
  • you are unable to wear a mask or cloth face covering due to a medical condition or you are otherwise exempted by guidance
    provided by the Medical Officer of Health
  • you are  sitting or eating, without talking
  • you are a desk at your place of employment
  • you are at a desk, or at a table, at your educational institution

Learn More

Businesses have the authority to require any person who visits their establishment to wear a mask and to refuse entry to any person who refuses to do so.

You are legally required to wear a mask or face covering in:

  • health care facilities
  • residential home care facilities
  • prisons or places of detention
  • airports
  • taxis or omnibuses
  • any other place specified by the Medical Officer of Health

When using a taxi, omnibus or school bus, the driver and all passengers must wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times.

Social distancing and thorough attention to hygiene are the best form of defense against the transmission of COVID-19.

Social distancing is legally required in public spaces in the Cayman Islands. 

Each person in a public place shall maintain a distance of at least six feet from another person not in their household.

Businesses must restrict their numbers so that any one time so that each customer or congregant is able to distance himself
or herself at least six feet from any other person.

No more than 100 people may gather in public indoors, and no more than 250 outdoors for a public meeting.

If people are gathering for the same activity in an indoors and outdoors setting, no more than 250 people can gather overall and at no more than 100 people can be in the indoor area of that public place.

Public meeting limits do not include

  • people employed to be involved in the activity
  • the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer at weddings
  • the parties to the intended civil partnership, official witnesses and the civil partnership officer at a civil partnership
  • up to six pallbearers, an officiant and essential mortuary staff at a funeral

These public gathering restrictions apply where people are meeting to engage in the same activity, not to customers of businesses or people attending their workplace. Churches that can hold more than 100 people are also exempt from the gathering restrictions, though the number of congregants must be restricted to allow for social distancing.

Restaurants and bars may offer indoor and outdoor services, provided that each table shall be at least six feet apart and servers and front of house staff shall wear masks or cloth face coverings while serving customer