More than 398 small businesses in Region Four receive grants

Small Business owners in Region Four on Tuesday received their small business grants, through the Small Business Bureau, as the government continues to honour its commitment to support small business development in Guyana.

Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond, while speaking at the handing over ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, noted that the distribution covers applicants from 2023, a total of which 398 were approved.

Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond delivering remarks at grant distribution ceremony

Similar distributions will be held in other parts of the country shortly.

“Government continues to give an unwavering support to you small business owners and this is coming as a direct result of our manifesto promise. When we campaign in 2020, we promised that we will continue support and unwavering support to our small business development,” Minister Walrond stated.

She noted that the small business sector is a priority for government, because when small businesses thrive the economy thrives.

Minister Walrond hands over a grant to one of the beneficiaries

She noted that on entering office in 2020, the government immediately lifted the cap from a 200 thousand, maximum to 500 thousand

She stated that in 2022, alone the government distributed almost 15 hundred small business grants, and close to 2000 in 2020 and 2021, in comparison to only 900 from 2015-2020 under the previous administration.

“In the budget that is coming up we have also asked for more monies to be put into the business development fund for our small business owners. And I urge all of you who have not registered at the small business bureau, to continue to do so because this support does not stop here. As you are registered, we continue to look at ways through training, through other opportunities for loans for bigger loans, there’s a loan guarantee programme,” minister Walrond stated.

Minister Walrond interacts with beneficiaries for the Small Business Grant

Poultry Farmer Charles Pickett of Cane Grove expressed his appreciation for the grant he received.

“I was frustrated when I get call last week. I feel so happy I was just praying for the time reach this morning. I got to thank the manager and the worker and thank God that I get it this morning to develop my business,” he said.

Joel Da Silva, another small business owner, sells stationaries and is also engaged in livestock farming.

“I feel good about the grant that the government has given to us because we have lost a lot of stationaries and other items in our business where we have to give them away week after week, and I’m still thankful for the grant. What the government has done I’m still thankful,” he stated while speaking with DPI.

A Grocer, Shellon Khandi said “I feel comfortable that you know as small business that you getting lil assistance and I feel happy and I want to thank the government for the good job that he is doing.”

Hematie Dookie, also expressed her appreciation for the help she received to grow her business.

“I feel great about is a very good initiative they doing a great initiative through the government where we could succeed our business, get a small loan to bring up the business more, we thank the government for everything,” she stated.