Everybody gets ‘a piece of the pie’

─ 20% Govt Procurement Programme focus of Small Business Bureau for 2019

 DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Small businesses across Guyana have access to government contracts and tenders. To ensure this is achieved, the 20% government procurement programme is the focus of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) this year.

Research and Marketing Officer of Small Business Bureau, Shamane Headley.

Speaking exclusively with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Research and Marketing Officer for SBB, Shamane Headley explained the importance of such an impactful initiative.

“That’s a programme the Small Business Bureau is responsible for – to ensure that small enterprises across Guyana have access to government contracts; government tenders that will help to build their revenue and build their capacity within our local context.”

A small business owner must have all necessary documents before applying for a government tender, and the bureau has been providing assistance with this somewhat tedious task. The SBB has been holding informative sessions for prospective registrants and business owners. This was arranged to make known the requirements when applying for government tenders – an initiative welcomed by potential business owners.

One such potential businesswoman is Shirley Fernandes. “My experience was great; I learnt a lot. There are things that I didn’t know, for instance like the GRA [Guyana Revenue Authority] compliance – I wasn’t aware of that, but now I know of that and NIS [National Insurance Scheme] compliance. So, you’re learning every day; you’re never too old to learn.”

Shirley Fernandes, a potential businesswoman.

To simplify the application process for tenders, the bureau has updated its requirements for registration to match the application criteria. The bureau has also set up several business help desks in Regions 2, 3, 6, 7, 9 and 10 with one each to be established in Regions 1 and 8.

“Through those help desks, we have been able to reach a larger number of persons, especially in the riverain and hinterland communities. So, it’s been working quite nicely for us” Headley explained.

SBB has been working with small businesses to provide training, guidance and specialised programmes tailored to specific sectors. The bureau also provides loans and grants for small businesses once they meet the requirements. Potential business owners can visit the bureau in Georgetown or any of the help desks throughout the country for more information.

A section of the prospective business owners listening in on the informative session.