300 Region Four small businesses to benefit from grants
The Small Business Bureau (SBB) has begun its final distribution of cash grants to 300 small business owners across the Demerara-Mahaica (Region Four).
The exercise held at the SBB office, La Penitence, Georgetown on Friday will see the small-scale entrepreneurs receiving financial support of $150,000 to expand their operations.
One of the recipients, Chandrawattie Sadiq was elated to receive the grant. She has been a seamstress for several years and hopes to purchase additional sewing machines to expand her business.
“I would just want to thank the Small Business Bureau and the government for the opportunity because this is going to help us,” Sadiq told the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Damon Boyce, who also collected his cheque, is thankful for the assistance. He said the gesture from the government will significantly push his new taxi and car rental service.
“I am into the taxi service and car rental for approximately three weeks and looking forward to serving the community,” the budding entrepreneur related.
For Ann D’Ornellas, the timely support will help in accomplishing her dreams of becoming a big agent for Guyana’s two leading telephone companies.
“My business is simply a retailer, I sell cards and credits for Digicel and GTT along with MMG,” she explained.
“I am seeing that I am going big with the MMG that’s my desire to be an agent… and this grant will help me to continue and to invest more in the business,” D’Ornellas added.
Over the past two weeks, the SBB conducted similar distribution exercises in Regions Five, Six, Seven and Ten.
SBB’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Simon Pollard explained that the distribution process will continue next week in several regions including Region Four.
“We will be going back to some of the regions to distribute grants to those persons who would have applied and were not among the first batch when we were in those regions. We will be going back to Region Six and Two sometime next week,” Pollard stated.
He disclosed that the SBB has seen a significant increase in the number of persons benefitting from its programme this year.
The agency hopes to expand its current initiatives and establish more options for business owners to pursue.
“One of the things we want to encourage small business owners [to do] is to apply to the Small Business Bureau, there are various services that we offer. The grant programme is just the access to finance programmes. We also have the collateral guarantee programme, where they are arranged with Republic Bank and GBTI…,” Pollard underscored.
Close to 200 small businesses across the Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) are also expected to receive grants. That exercise also began on Friday with the first 40 persons benefitting. The SBB intends to distribute more than 1,400 small business grants valuing some $300 million to entrepreneurs countrywide.