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Temporary closure of Grenlec’s Headquarters and Customer Care Centres

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Following the declaration of a limited State of Emergency in Grenada on 25 March 2020, Grenlec is advising the general public about the closure of its Headquarters and Customer Care Centres effective 26 March to 15 April 2020.

During this period the company is suspending disconnections for electricity accounts in arrears as well as all construction jobs. Meter reading will not be done in this period either, so many accounts will be estimated for the next billing cycle.

Customers can continue to call 237 for Grenlec’s 24-hour telephone for emergencies and to report power outages.

The 237 number can also be used for 24-hour bill enquiry service and customers are asked to use available third party and online banking payment services to make payments to their accounts.

Grenlec

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Government of Grenada addresses economic fallout from Covid-19 pandemic

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The Government of Grenada is sparing no effort in addressing the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This assurance came from Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, as he hosted his most recent press conference, in which an extension of the 24-hour curfew was announced.

Dr Mitchell said, “The staff at the Ministry of Finance continues to work on rolling out the economic stimulus package, which is designed to help provide a buffer for businesses and workers that have been hardest hit by the crisis.”

14 measures were outlined in the stimulus package, announced on 20 March 2020 and some persons are expected to start receiving benefits by the end of this month.

Under the stimulus package, qualifying hotels, restaurants and bars and travel agents will receive a percentage of their existing payroll. Although the workers are the ultimate beneficiaries of this measure, the application must be submitted by the business establishment.

Qualifying businesses are advised that the payroll support must be used for that particular purpose and NOT for any other aspect of their business operation. Employees will be expected to certify receipt of payment at the end of each month in which the benefit is applicable.

With respect to income support for public buses, taxi drivers, tourist vendors and other such identified hospitality-based industries, efforts are being made to contact those affected directly with a view to facilitate payments.

All payroll support and income support payments will be by direct deposit to the bank account of qualifying persons and businesses.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Blue Light Distillery commits to the fight against Covid-19 in Grenada

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Many spirits and liquors producers across the Caribbean are mobilising efforts in response to the growing need for sanitising solutions which are critical to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Grenada-based Blue Light Distillery also joined the fight against the virus.

The company, run by Jim Jardine that initially manufactures gin, is one of the beneficiaries of the INTERREG Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project, which is coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique (CCI Martinique) along with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export).

Sanitisers became scarce or impossible to find in supermarkets in Grenada, as soon as the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed on the island on 22 March 2020.

The handmade gin brand Blue Light Distillery decided to embark on the manufacture of antiseptic solutions based on alcohol and aloe vera in response to this unprecedented situation. As of 24 March 2020, the company began to produce 100 bottles of 500 ml per day to supply the supermarkets.

The director of Blue Gin Distillery, Aaron Salyer, explained its decision to revamp the production from hand-crafted gin made with wild Canadian juniper berries to hand sanitisers made with alcohol and aloe vera.

“Blue Light Distillery decided to manufacture hand sanitisers for 2 reasons. First of all, we have access to the high percentage alcohol necessary to make the antiseptic products which are essential in the fight against Covid-19. It also enables us to keep the business afloat during this crisis. Tourism plays a big role in our business. However, bars and hotels are closed, and cruiseships no longer dock in Grenada because of the pandemic,” Salyer said.

The director of Blue Gin Distillery also indicated that donations of sanitisers were made to senior citizens’ facilities and to people who are most affected by poverty on the island. The curfew introduced in Grenada on 30 March and the ban on the sale of alcohol has also impacted the young company founded in 2018.

The involvement in the fight against Covid-19 enabled the only hand-crafted gin manufacturing distillery of the island to survive while praying for the end of the pandemic and the return to normal economic and tourist activities in Grenada.

OECS-Chamber of Commerce of Martinique Joint Media Release

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No burn policy in effect

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by Linda Straker

  • 1 person charged for burning vegetation without permission
  • No-burn policy during dry season January to June
  • Agriculture Fires Act dates from September 1951

Police have confirmed charging one person for burning vegetation because he did not obtain permission to engage in such activities and this is a violation of the no-burn policy which came into effect once the island entered the dry season period of January to June.

The Agriculture Fires Act which dates back to 1951 says, “Every person before commencing the setting of fire on land shall apply in writing or in-person to an Authorised Officer for a licence to do so and shall state in his or her application the location and extent of such land and the reasons why, in his or her opinion, burning is necessary or justifiable.”

The authorising authority is the Ministry of Agriculture, but because the country is currently in a limited State of Emergency, its officers are unable to provide a licence to any person who applies.

On Wednesday, while answering questions in a police briefing, Superintendent Randy Connaught, said the burning of vegetation is prohibited. “We do have a policy on the burning of shrubs or vegetation during the dry season and police are still enforcing it.” He pointed out that a couple of days ago the fire department responded to a fire in St David. “And this resulted in one person being arrested for burning agricultural lands without the required licence from the agricultural department. So yes, the no-burn policy is still in effect and still needs to be observed by all.”

The penalty for any person who sets fire on, or procures, aids or abets the setting of fire on any land without a licence under shall be liable to a fine of $500 and to imprisonment for 3 months.

In the meantime, police have confirmed receipt of a new fire truck that will be added to the fleet. Earlier in the year, Acting Commissioner, Edvin Martin, told journalists that one of the goals in 2020 is to obtain new trucks. Specifications about the truck were not readily available.

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