Over $151M in SBB grants disbursed for 2021

Hundreds of persons are benefitting from the Small Business Bureau’s (SBB) Small Business Development Fund. Through the 2021 budget, $250 million was allocated to the fund to finance small businesses through grants and loans.

Chief Executive Officer (ag) of the Bureau, Vanessa Thompson said to date, more than half of the monies budgeted has been disbursed to develop small businesses countrywide.

Chief Executive Officer (ag) Small Business Bureau, Vanessa Thompson

“For this year so far, we have already disbursed 354 grants. I should as well mention that from the Small Business Development Fund, we are also processing and disbursing COVID-19 relief grants… for this year we have already disbursed 30 COVID-19 relief grants… for the 354 grants disbursed so far, the total amount is $151.9 million and for the 30 COVID-19 grants, it is $5.9 million,” Thompson said.

The small business grants go up t0 $500,000 while the limit on COVID-19 grants is $250,000. The disbursement of grants is a commitment by the PPP/C Administration to provide more incentives for small businesses and young entrepreneurs, including micro-credit facilities.

The creation of 50,000 jobs is another commitment the PPP/C Government is determined to accomplish. What better way to propel the commitment than by providing persons with avenues to become their own bosses, while at the same time provide employment for others.

Small Business Bureau

Thompson said the bureau will be hosting awareness sessions, so that more persons can take advantage of avenues available through the Government to become entrepreneurs. This will be done via the hosting of ‘One Stop Shop’ outreaches, similar to the one recently undertaken in Region Two, where over 100 persons applied for grants. The next event will be hosted in Region Seven.

“This year we really want to focus on providing more access to remote communities. The ‘One Stop Shop’ is just one of the ways we would be doing this. The other way we would be doing this is by strengthening the services provided by our help desk services and we have help desks located in every region except Region Five and we are in discussion with representatives to establish a help desk there,” she said.

The SBB will also be working to assist its clients through market linkages and analysis to access opportunities that are available locally, regionally and internationally.

“We recently learnt of a company right here in Guyana that invested several millions into machinery that produce juice, but there is not enough juice available to that company. So, how can we link some of our clients who are in agriculture and producing the crops that they need to that company so that they can fill that gap?

“So, we are looking to do market studies that will give us that sort of information, so that we will be able to better guide our clients and position them to access these opportunities,” SBB head noted.

Thompson said the bureau will continue to work and find ways to strengthen small businesses that come under its purview.