Business Minister engages Essequibo Chamber of Commerce, other entrepreneurs
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 12, 2018
Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin today assured officials in the Pomeroon-Supenaam area that his Ministry will work to provide solutions to issues affecting the business community and residents of the area.
He made this promise while leading a team to Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) to listen to a number of concerns, particularly those within the region’s business sector.
Members of the Essequibo Chambers of Commerce and other business officials later expressed satisfaction with the Minister’s visit.
Among areas discussed were the issues within the Fishing industry, the tourism sector, small business production and packaging and the lack of knowledge of access to finance programmes.
Other concerns outside of the business sector that were raised dealt with the completion of the Essequibo airstrip, the ban on catfish and blackouts in the region.
During the interactive session, Anna Regina resident, Abiola Garraway who is involved in agro-processing opined that the issues which she encounters can be addressed through measures put in place by the Ministry.
“My main problem is with training, financing and equipment. We see a lot of things happening in Georgetown; nothing really comes to Essequibo. We do get a lot of workshops, but we do need training…if not all of us, some of us. We are trying with the little knowledge, but we want the correct thing,” Garraway remarked.
She also identified challenges in accessing loans and being able to package products properly as hiccups in her small business.
Minister Gaskin committed to sending a team from the Small Business Bureau (SBB) to engage the Chamber of Commerce. He noted the meeting will also include (the) agro-processors.
“They can discuss it and arrange for some training sessions. The training sessions should address some of the important equipment you may need. Also, they can explain to you what some of the ways are you can access financing.”
The Minister added that his ministry is also working on a programme to reduce the cost of packaging for small businesses across the country.
Charity businessman, Ryan Vanslytman, said he believes there needs to be more interaction and collaboration between the government ministries and other organisations to address issues in the regions. Vanslytman pointed out that improved systems need to be implemented to better manage those entrepreneurs who disregard business principles.
Minister Gaskin assured this his ministry will work towards providing solutions to the issues within the Pomeroon-Supenaam region. However, he encouraged the entrepreneurs to work along with the government towards finding the solutions.
The President of the Essequibo Chambers of Commerce, Deleep Singh, reiterated that persons must collaborate with the government and other bodies to find solutions to the issues they face.
The residents expressed satisfaction with the Minister’s visit and said they looked forward to seeing action on the issues discussed.
By: Crystal Stoll