Region Two small businesses receive SBB grants

Fourteen small business owners from Region Two have received small business grants of $500,000 each, from the Small Business Bureau (SBB).

This now takes the total number of businesses to receive grants in the region, closer to 50.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond MP hands over the grant

This was disclosed on Tuesday, as Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond MP, handed over the grants to the small business owners.

Minister Walrond said her visit to the region is to take note of what services need to be provided or enhanced to make life better for the people there.

We know that a lot of you have faced hardships and just let your friends, your family, your neighbour know, everyone around your community know that there is assistance that Government has provided in the Small Business Bureau. In fact, we have doubled the amount of the pocket of money that is available, from $100 million to $250 million, so that we can service and support more businesses,” the minister said.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond MP

Small business owners can now benefit from grants of up to $500,000 and Covid relief grants of up to $250, 000 once they prove that they have suffered losses due to the pandemic.

The Minister noted that since taking office the Administration has placed a moratorium on compliances for the National Insurance Scheme and the Guyana Revenue Authority because it understands that it is difficult for businesses to obtain such, before they can get the cash grants.

“The idea is to get relief quickly to you so you could keep your businesses alive,” the Minister said.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond MP and SBB Head, Vanessa Thompson pose with recipients

Meanwhile, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the SBB, Vanessa Thompson noted that the agency is working on making access to services better for persons in all the regions.

“From the time we receive our application within one week we want to be able to reach out to our client and say, we have received your application this is what else is needed or the application is complete we’ll get back to you at a specific time frame. So, we are working on improving those things, the processing time, working on making our grants and loans and all the services we provide, more accessible,” she said.

Several of the recipients are grateful for the support they are receiving to develop their businesses.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond MP interacts with a recipient

Tatyanna Moore has a hair care product and she is pleased now that she has received her grant.

“This is great for me and my business, it’s something that I have been waiting on a long while now and presently we want to reach on the international market, a lot of persons come from the states, Canada, a lot of countries and they would buy our product go back and then they want more, they can’t have it, so with this grant I will be able to expand and reach more customers not only in Guyana,” she explained.

Jaianti Lall a vendor of Charity is grateful for the support as her business has been affected by the pandemic, she noted that she will maintain a relationship with the Bureau to benefit from training opportunities as well.  

“Well, I’m very privileged to receive it, I’m very thankful to the Government to receiving the grant and it will help us a lot in our business, to boost it, because due to Covid everything slow, the whole business everything slow, so with this now it helps us to boost up our capital to help the businesses thrive a little bit more,” Lall said.

Jaianti Lall

Another recipient, Premnauth Bissessar, a shoe vendor said, “I feel very happy about receiving this grant I would like to say thank you to Small Business Bureau for giving me this financial support.” The SBB held “One Stop Shop” outreaches at the Essequibo Technical Institute and the Amerindian communities of Wakapoa and Akawini, where more persons have applied for grants.