768 small businesses benefited from $377M in 2021
Recognised as the leading financial support agency for medium and small enterprises in Guyana, the Small Business Bureau says it has positioned itself to do just that with $300 million set aside to support small businesses this year.
In 2021, for the first time since its establishment, the bureau disbursed a total of 746 small business grants, exceeding the annual target.
This is according to Shamane Headley, the Bureau’s Research and Marketing Officer.
She said at the end of 2021, a total of 768 small businesses accessed financial support valued $377 million in the form of grants, loans and sponsorship to start up, expand and promote their small businesses.
Headley was at the time delivering remarks on Friday at the launch of the National Small Business Week organised by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) with support from the bureau.
Headley said as a direct result of those interventions in 2021, some 1,323 jobs were created by small businesses benefitting from financial support.
The $300 million allocated to continue the support in 2022 is the largest allocation from the government in the history of the bureau; this amount is expected to provide financial support to a minimum of 300 additional small businesses.
Additionally, in 2022, the bureau is facilitating the implementation of the Small Business Procurement Programme, which grants access to 20 per cent of all government procurement by approved small businesses.
Headley explained that the Small Business Procurement Programme will be implemented through a cloud-based (online), web-accessible portal, which was successfully developed and deployed on January 31, 2022 by EMTEC, one of the Bureau’s registered clients.
She said awareness training is currently ongoing with relevant personnel of Government Ministries and agencies to facilitate access and implementation of the Small Business Procurement Programme.
Added to this, there will be several one-stop-shop in outlining regions that allow for business registration, loan applications and more services to be accessed and conducted in one day
This one stop shops will be in regions 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
Headley said the bureau is collaborating with support agencies such as the Deeds and Commercial Registry, National Insurance Scheme, Guyana Revenue Authority, Republic Bank, Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited, Credit Info (Guyana), Guyana National Bureau of Standards and the Local Content Secretariat.
The One Stop Shops provide on-the-spot access to services offered by these agencies, which are integral for registration but also integral for the overall operations of businesses.
For example, persons can apply and access their Business Name Registration in a single day, while registering with the bureau and applying for a commercial loan at either of the banks in the same day. They can also register for the Made in Guyana Certification through the GNBS, and access information on how to navigate the Local Content Register.
In fulfilling the mandate of the Small Business Bureau, the focus is not only on financial support, but the bureau is also keen on building the capacity of businesses through training and other development programmes.