Wednesday 21 October, 2020

Local companies receive funding grants from Government

Minister Gopee-Scoon presents Michael Cooper, President of Panland Trinidad and Tobago with the SMGFF cheque.

Minister Gopee-Scoon presents Michael Cooper, President of Panland Trinidad and Tobago with the SMGFF cheque.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon has underscored the Government’s commitment to provide support for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

She was speaking at a grant distribution ceremony on Tuesday.

The Minister said: “the government will continue to provide support to improve capacity building and technology advancement in the manufacturing and creative industries, among others amidst the unprecedented times being experienced as a result of the Novel Coronavirus”.

Gopee-Scoon identified the Grant Fund Facility as one initiative that provides funding to companies to improve productivity and competitiveness in some of the nation’s most viable sectors.

Trinibakes Limited, a small manufacturer in the food and beverage sector, received funding in the amount of $176,351.49. The company produces specialty frozen flour-based products such as bread and pastry doughs for both retail and wholesale distribution.

The Minister commended the company on its use of locally sourced ingredients such as flour, pumpkin, beetroot, coconut, ginger, and spinach which has created supply linkages with domestic farmers and flour manufacturers. Trinibakes Limited intends to purchase new machinery and equipment for its manufacturing process which will allow for greater efficiency and increased production capacity to expand locally and regionally.

The company’s director, Kathleen Joseph, said: “Trinibakes is truly Trini. We work closely with our famers to ensure the supply of local produce in our products”. “We have done in-depth market research and have tested several markets and are confident that this grant will allow us to realise our plans and expand our reach locally and regionally.” 

Meanwhile, the Steelpan Manufacturing Grant Fund Facility (SMGFF) disbursed a total of $250,000 to Panland Trinidad and Tobago, the second recipient of the fund.

Gopee-Scoon reiterated that the Government recognises both the cultural significance and the economic potential of the steelpan industry.

The SMGFF provides support to assist steelpan manufacturers and tuners in the acquisition of machinery, equipment, software, tools, raw material and training, in tranches of up to $250,000 and not exceeding $1,000,000 per entity.

Panland has been in operation for over 25 years and offers a wide range of products which includes all sizes of conventional steelpans, accessories such as sticks, stands, cases etc and services such as tuning, blending and powder coating.

The Minister commended Panland for establishing a presence on Amazon and is hopeful that the financial support will give the company the assistance needed to boost its production capacity and re-position itself in the international marketplace in this ever-changing economic climate. 

Panland president Michael Cooper expressed gratitude for the support: “The steelpan industry is ripe with possibility and potential and this funding will assist in rebuilding the industry.”

Cooper also applauded the SMGFF initiative which he anticipates will bear tremendous fruit for the industry in terms of employment, career development and generation of foreign exchange.

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