800 small businesses to benefit from $300M in SBB grants

In a bid to stimulate the growth of small businesses and budding entrepreneurs, the National Assembly has approved government’s proposed $300 million for the Small Business Bureau’s (SBB) Development Fund.

Speaking on the floor of the Assembly’s Committee of Supply, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P, assured the body that the budgetary allocation will be spent in a transparent and accountable manner.

Minster Walrond said, “we have a very robust application process, as well as follow up with the small business applicants, and when they are given their grants, we also continue to do training and developmental training.”

“We have methods of verification. We do site visits before the grants are given. Project proposals are done. The invoices have to be submitted for the exact amounts… It is a very robust system of verification,” Minister Walrond explained.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P

While noting that the bureau, over the past year has been made history in meeting its grant distribution targets, Minister Walrond said 2000 entrepreneurs will benefit from training opportunities to enhance their businesses in 2022.

The training programmes will cover areas such as business plan writing, small business management, record keeping, WhatsApp for business, financial management, and marketing, among others.

Since 2020, the SBB Fund has grown by $200 million. In the 2020 and 2021 budgets, $100 million and $250 million were approved, respectively. Budget 2022 is themed: “Steadfast Against All Challenges, Resolute in Building Our ‘One Guyana’.”