African businesses urged to get organised
The Auditorium of the Critchlow Labour College was packed with over 400 persons – a turnout the organizers clearly did not prepare for – as the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly (IDPAD-G) in Guyana held its first ‘One Stop Business Conference’.
Businessmen and women at the event were mainly interested in looking for funding and advice to establish their own businesses.
“I’ve come to further my knowledge, give me a better scope into legalizing myself, see what scope they have to help me grow,” Michael Marks, the proprietor of a Variety Store at Plantain Walk, Triumph, East Coast Demerara, told News Room Wednesday.
Eric Phillips, President of the African Business Roundtable, in an interview with News Room, explained that many of the businesses are not in possession of compliance documents.
“Many of these companies haven’t registered, many don’t have TIN (Tax Identification Number) certificate, many don’t have National Insurance Scheme (NIS) systems…There are various agencies here to help the folks understand what steps they should take in order to be regularized,” Phillips said.
His comments came moments before Chairman of the IDPAD-G, Vincent Alexander urged African business persons to organize themselves.
Agencies present at the event were the Guyana Marketing Corporation, Guyana Revenue Authority, IPED, the Small Businesses Bureau, Citizens Bank and others.
News Room also spoke with other persons who have already established their businesses and are now looking to network with others.
In the 2018 Budget, the organization was granted a subvention of $68 million to hold various activities to develop the African community in tandem with the UN’s declared International Decade for People of African Descent which is being observed from 2015 to 2024.
Additionally, on Friday, the Government approved the spending of $17.3 million for Emancipation Day celebrations countrywide.