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Belize’s creative sector receives emergency COVID-19 relief from the Caribbean Development Bank

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Posted: Monday, December 14, 2020. 1:13 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: A Belizean creative sector organization is one of several organizations within three Caribbean countries to benefit from special grant funding issued by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) geared towards providing emergency relief to creative industries that have lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An article published in the Jamaica Observer notes that the Belize Music Agency received US$12,000  for an “off-the-shelf web-based platform” which would host a live-streamed festival showcasing entertainers who were slated to be featured on the National Agriculture and Trade show which was canceled due to the pandemic. To complement the platform, the Belize Music Agency set up a virtual tip basket which allowed the local and international audience tuning in to donate funds to their preferred artist.

The funds came from the CDB’s  Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF), which was set up back in 2017 with an initial  US$2.6 million. The COVID-19 emergency relief disbursement was valued at US$100,000. Other recipients of the funds included Kingston Creative (Jamaica), Barbados Innovative Media (BIM), and TicketLinkz (Barbados) among others.

Lisa Harding, coordinator of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) development at the CDB, explained that the CIIF received over 300 applications from 17 of CDB’s 19 borrowing member countries.

“The emergency relief grant was introduced to provide support at a critical time because the COVID-19 pandemic has affected venue-based activities and the flow of value-added supplies throughout the sector,” Harding said.

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