Over $2M in grants for Anna Regina small business owners

— “We are here to assist, just seek compliance” – Min. Rajkumar

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Over $2M in grants from the Small Business Bureau (SBB) have been presented to small business owners in Anna Regina, Region 2. Minister of Business, Hon. Haimraj Rajkumar and team travelled to the community to distribute the cheques to the nine entrepreneurs.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI), 58-year-old, Alva George said she can finally construct a shop to better serve her customers who purchase snacks from her at the Anna Regina Market Square.

“I have been in the food business for five years and I never applied for my NIS [National Insurance Scheme] or GRA [Guyana Revenue Authority] compliance. However, I was advised to do so and when I did, I got the push to apply for a grant which was presented to me today. Finally, I can build a little shop, where I can properly display my food. Before, I was selling on two tables and the rain would often time disrupt my business,” George explained.

A visibly emotional George said she is very grateful for the government initiative which looks out for the small man.

Roopchand Jaichand, 50, travelled from the Pomeroon River to collect his grant. Jaichand, who sells phones cards, said he will utilise the grant to expand his business since he plans to distribute phone cards throughout the length and breadth of the region.

“Before I was in the Guyana Police Force but now that I am home, I decided to pursue a small business that would generate a little income, I usually would travel up the Pomeroon River via boat to sell my phone cards, where ever there is signal I will be there. Thanks to the Government, I can now deliver my services even better,” Jaichand explained.

Minister of Business, Hon. Haimraj Rajkumar, said the Coalition Government is committed to providing opportunities for small business entrepreneurs. He highlighted, that the bureau as allocated $100Million in the 2019 budget to assist those persons who are seeking to grow their businesses.

The Business Minister also reminded the entrepreneurs that to effectively manage their ventures they practise proper accountability and honour their obligations to the GRA and NIS. He advised that they utilise the grants in carefully to ensure continued success

We would like to give you more and if you continue to utilise your grant prudently, you will progress. And when we see you progressing then we will help you to go to the next step,” Minister Rajkumar said.

The Small Business Bureau (SBB) is a semi-autonomous hovernment agency that was created to fulfil and execute the mandate set out in the Small Business Act No. 2 of 2004, aimed to provide developmental support and funding along with support for small businesses across the length and breadth of Guyana.

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