Chairman of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George says Tobago hoteliers should accept Government’s terms and conditions to access the $50 million COVID-19 hotels’ upgrade grant facility. 
In a statement on Saturday, the Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association (THTA) expressed disappointment over the distribution of the grant. 
The association said: “We reject the proposed grant distribution outright.” 
THTA said the grant gave hoteliers with less room more money and made the criteria for accessing the funds, burdensome. 
‘This could be the end for many small and medium-sized businesses, most of whom were already suffering before the pandemic hit Trinidad and Tobago,” the hotel association said.

It also said an alternative proposal was sent to Chief Secretary AncilDennis with the hope that he could resolve the situation.

 They propose a change in the application process and soft loans at low-interest rates, for ten years with a moratorium on repayment for 2 years.  
Addressing the THTA’s statement on Monday, George said hoteliers should re-examine their approach “all or nothing approach” is not the best business model.  
“Make a start with what is offered to you and make further representations along the way,” the Chairman advises the hoteliers.

He said if the current situation continues, the hoteliers can end with “analysis paralysis …and fiddling, fiddling like (King) Nero while Rome burns.” 
He said discussions on resolving the situation, may continue until the next national and Tobago House of Assembly elections and no action taken to execute the grant funding.

Reporter: Camille McEachnie