Small businesses have the potential to grow this economy – Minister Jordan

DPI, GUYANA, Friday December 08, 2017

Finance Minister Winston Jordan, during his closing Budget Debate 2018 speech before the National Assembly, stated that small local businesses must be nurtured. He said, “We must be able to move these people forward, and have them move from just exhibiting, and into more manufacturing.”

He noted that several Parliamentary Opposition members were ‘scoffing’ about the local economy being a ‘Plantain chip economy’.  Minister Harmon opined, however, that small businesses have a key role to play in the expansion of Guyana’s economy, despite the advent of the oil and gas sector. The minister posited that if for example, 1,000 small business owners employed five persons each, that would mean 5,000 persons were employed.

This amount, Minster Jordan noted, would be substantial especially when compared to several multi-national companies that invested under the PPP/C government. He questioned, “Baishanlin, how much persons did they employ? Vaitarna, they are here right now. How many are they employing? These companies got every type of concession under the sun and how many locals did they employ?”

Despite the naysayers, Minister Jordan reminded that lessons must be learnt from the mistakes of the 70’s, and taken on board. It was during this time that, the then Peoples National Congress (PNC) government sought to encourage small local businesses under a variety of initiatives but was not very successful, for s a number of reasons.

This time must be different, the minister vowed and the contributions of those small entrepreneurs, “must be acknowledged and encouraged”. “The government must do its part and we will do so”, he stated. The minister added, “We must move from the talk and into the walk.”

By: Paul McAdam

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