$6.53B approved for Tourism ministry

1,000 small business grants, new GNBS lab on the cards

The Tourism, Industry and Commerce Ministry will soon commence work on its 2023 programmes as $6.53 billion was approved in the Committee of Supply of the National Assembly.

In responding to questions by the Opposition, Minister, Oneidge Walrond noted that last year 1, 429 persons benefitted from small business grants.

Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister, Oneidge Walrond

She noted that this year, 1,000 persons will benefit from small business grants.

“This way surpasses the 560 grants in five years under the previous administration, so I do believe, Mr. Speaker, is very significant, it’s not insignificant,” the minister asserted.

Minister Walrond pointed out that while persons can only benefit from grants once, businesses are also supported in other areas including assistance to access financing from commercial banks.

She noted that the Small Business Bureau (SBB) ensures that persons in all parts of the country are made aware of this business support mechanism, by conducting outreaches, taking services of the various agencies to the people.

Minister Walrond and her team

There is also a robust monitoring structure in place to help beneficiaries even after they receive the grants, in areas such as training, while help desks are available in each administrative regions.

The ministry’s head office and the National Exhibition Centre Sophia are slated for rehabilitation.

Minister Walrond disclosed that GuyExpo will return this year after a hiatus and therefore, the refurbishment is needed.

Meanwhile, a lab will be constructed for the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) at a cost of $1.5 billion which will allow for the provision of adequate services, as well other capital works for the agency to help build its capacity.