Small businesses to access 20% share of state contracts

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The Small Business Bureau (SBB) is working to hire a consultant to complete a policy framework which will bring the government closer to realizing the Small Business Procurement Programme which will ensure small businesses access 20% of Government contracts.

While the Government procures items from some small businesses, the issue is measuring or monitoring of the amount of small businesses which benefit.

Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) Lowell Porter told the News Room at the sidelines of a closing ceremony for the Micro and Small Enterprises Development Project at the Herdmanston Lodge on Thursday that such information goes through the Ministry of Finance and not the SBB.

Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) Lowell Porter

To get the Programme in place, which is expected to iron out the current issues, he noted that the Bureau so far has completed a policy framework and is hiring a consultant to “put that into legal jargon which is outside of our scope.”

The Terms of Reference for the consultant are almost complete, he said, after which the document will be sent to the Business Ministry for approval and expressions of interest will be requested from consultancy firms.

However, the CEO said there needs to be some amendment to the Procurement Act and the Small Business Act to ensure that they complement each other.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin challenged the Bureau to fast forward the process as he wants the Small Business Procurement Programme to be in place by next year.

“Do whatever you need to do to conclude this programme; conclude this programme. Whatever it takes, I take full responsibility. If you have to shut the Bureau down for a week, just to wrap it up and do it out, please do it. It is very important, it has to do with creating opportunities for small businesses,” he told those gathered including officials of the SBB.

In an interview with the media on the sidelines of the event, Minister Gaskin explained that the project will look at measuring the levels of procurement from small businesses; developing strategic measures to provide small businesses with greater access to public procurement opportunities and better chances of winning contracts; and enhancing the capacity of small businesses to successfully manage and execute contracts.

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