Small business is good business

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Jai Roopi has been providing jobs for youths in his village.

He is a prominent Rice Farmer and is one of several residents from Bagotsville who have been giving back to their community by way of youth employment.

Roopi told his story during a community meeting held at the Bagotsville Community Centre with Minister within the Ministry of Communities, with responsibility for Housing, Hon. Annette Ferguson.

Recounting the struggles he faced as a rice farmer, under the previous administration, Roopi said: “There were 104 rice mills in Guyana when the PPP take over power, 52 left. We were ill-treated under the PPP government… We never plant rice, our mills closed down. When the APNU+AFC got into power, we start planting again, and today, because of the APNU and AFC, we employ over 200 persons. They have done a wonderful job for people and rice farmers.”

Roopi was more than grateful for the work the government has done to revitalise and bolster the rice industry. However, he is not the only one who is grateful for the work done.

Devon Harding is one of many small contractors. He was happy to be able to provide employment for the youths of his community. However, he has called on the minister to see what more could be done to garner funding to improve his capacity.

“I must say I am grateful for this government and the work they are doing… In Bagotsville, there are a lot of junior contractors who are willing to go out there and do work, but still as junior contractors, we face a lot of issues pertaining to loans and grants, because mostly when we get a contract, it is very hard for a person starting with nothing, to start a contract, and no one wants to approve us.”

Minister Ferguson imparted some words of wisdom to the young contractors present, on ways in which they can grow whilst they straighten out the necessary requirements to be eligible for loans from the Small Business Bureau (SBB). “If you don’t have a grader, you don’t have hymacs, you don’t have rollers, you don’t have pavers, so you’re looking for the big road contracts, but before you get to that level, you have to start somewhere.”

The SBB helps to empower small businesses with guidance in setting up and managing their businesses. The entity is also able to give out loans and grants to registered members to the bureau. If you are thinking of starting your own small business and becoming an employing force in your community, you can contact the SBB on 226-8120 to find out more.