Artistes and Musicians are among those being encouraged to apply for the Government of Saint Lucia’s Income Support Program (ISP) with payments set to begin next week. The programme is also open to all sole traders such as vendors, fishermen, barbers, hairdressers, taxi-drivers and more who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Government is making a specific call to those in the Creative Industries to apply for the funds as the Carnival season has always been a time where many persons look forward to for work and the generation of income; for example Artistes, Musicians, Costume Makers and Designers. This would be the peak of their financial gains for the year. A special appeal is being made to our creatives, especially those displaced financially because of the postponement of Saint Lucia Carnival 2020, to apply to the Income Support Program.
Applicants must electronically complete and submit the relevant application form which is accessible on the Government of Saint Lucia website (www.govt.lc) and may be accessed from a computer or a mobile phone. A team from the Income Support Program is set to go into the communities to help with the application process; a schedule will be disseminated in short order.
Due to the delay in the payments, the government has taken the decision to pay April/May/June in one lump sum. Director of Implementation Nancy Charles explained that the delay was due to the annual budget exercise, she said: “Despite the delay in payments, we want to remind persons that the deadline is July 17th 2020. The Government of Saint Lucia made available twenty – four million dollars to provide this financial relief and we want to ensure that as many persons as possible can benefit. There is a misconception out there that the process is tedious but the most important document to provide is evidence or proof of trade.”
The Income Support Program falls under the Social Stabilization Plan announced by the Honourable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet as part of the National Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.