The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union (EU) is working with the Saint Lucia Trade Promotions Agency (TEPA) to sensitize the local business community on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS).

The agencies on Monday hosted a proposal writing workshop for businesses and Business Support Organizations to increase the awareness and understanding of accessing the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme.

The workshop informed participants of the grant, how to apply and the process of reimbursement. The DAGS was specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered exporting firms. Firms not presently exporting but are looking to build their capacity to export can also apply for this funding.

The DAGS programme enables companies to submit proposals to fund a range of business development projects from the purchase of equipment for modernization, the upgrade of facilities to meet international food and quality standards or the enhancement of products and packaging for export. Previously companies have utilized grants to implement alternative energy systems that would reduce their production costs and make them more competitive for export and even to train staff and develop collateral materials for export marketing and promotion.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency is scheduled to open the call for proposals for the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme on April 23.