The Montserrat government’s 2021 budget has been delayed as it awaits a decision from the British government on the extent of its budget aid this year.
The island has been receiving UK budgetary aid for over 25 years since the eruption of its Soufriere Hills volcano decimated its economy.
The government is currently offering one-off cash grants of up EC$10,000/US$3,700 to businesses to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
This follows an outcry from many in the island’s private sector that they were on the brink of collapsing after the territory recently went into another lockdown due to a sudden spike in cases.
All cases have since recovered and the lockdown is being relaxed.
Meanwhile, Montserrat's popular cultural festival built around a slave rebellion on March 17th 1768 (St Patrick’s Day) is restricted to an online celebration this year.
It is a major event on the island’s tourism calendar and is a key contributor to the economy.
The event which also references the historic presence of the Irish in the British territory normally attracts huge numbers of nationals from the diaspora and other visitors.