Small Businesses critical to Guyana economy – Deputy Governor, Bank of Guyana
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Representatives from Demerara Mutual Insurance Company (DMIC) and the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) were among the participants of a one-day workshop aimed at educating, rewarding and celebrating small businesses in Georgetown.
The event which was held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel was hosted by ScotiaBank Guyana, under the theme “Managing Your Small Business for the Future.”
Deputy Governor, Bank of Guyana Dr. Terrence Smith, in his opening remarks, emphasised that small businesses are crucial to the generation of economic stability and long-term development of Guyana. “The emphasis placed on assisting small businesses is a microcosm of the growing recognition across the nation of this important role of this sector”, he said.
He focused on the role small businesses play in driving economic growth, the critical considerations for successfully managing small businesses and the recent developments that are impacting them locally.
Dr. Smith said, “Small businesses are essential to creating jobs in our economy and operate in a variety of sectors including agriculture, manufacture, tourism and service sectors.” He added, “Many individuals find opportunities to continue working well into their retirement years through self-employment or opening their own small business.”
In terms of the government’s support, he referred to projections from the Ministry of Business’s 2016-2020 Strategic Action Plan, that predict major developments for Guyana’s business environment throughout the four year period.
According to Dr. Smith, “One significant benefit mentioned in the provision is to allow twenty percent of public procurement to small businesses.” He noted that access to capital and credit are key points to the growth of any business, especially fledgling businesses.
Dr. Smith further noted, that in 2015-2016 Guyana has improved by 16 places on the ranking of the “World’s Bank doing Business Index.”
In addition, the Government of Guyana has plans to examine the viability of recommended reforms of the World Bank in years of starting a business, registering property, trading across borders, getting electricity and obtaining construction permits.
It was noted that the Small Business Bureau will be extending its reach to educational institutions to expose students to entrepreneurial skills. The initiative will include competitions that will see at least ten students receiving grants to start their own businesses.
Meanwhile, ScotiaBank Country Manager, Raymond Smith stated that the company’s celebration of Small Business Week, is their way of championing the successes of the entities, and spotlighting the valuable contributions made by this sector.
Apart from the Seminar, the Scotia Bank Vision Achiever LivePitch 2017 competition will host its final segment which is slated for September 18. The leg of the Business Plan competition will see the finalists pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges on television for a chance to win a $500,000 startup business account. The runner-up will receive a $250,000 startup account.
Other Scotia Bank Branches will throughout the month honour small businesses through customer appreciation days and small business expos in their respective branches.
By: Crystal Stoll