Visually impaired Guyanese benefit from $500,000 SBB grants

In keeping with its commitment to ensure the livelihood of all Guyanese, Government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce’s Small Business Bureau (SBB) distributed grants to the tune of $500,000, to nine persons living with disabilities.

Minister, Oneidge Walrond, M.P, said the gesture is in keeping with the government’s ‘One Guyana’ vision. She was speaking at the grant distribution exercise held at the Guyana Society for the Blind headquarters.

(left to right) Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities, Ganesh Singh, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P and Acting SBB Chief Executive Officer, Vanessa Thompson

“The idea is that no person should be left behind with the economic development of our country. As a government, our policy has been one and continues to be the ‘One Guyana’ initiative that every single person…can benefit from the resources of government, and have the opportunity to better themselves, better their families and better their communities.”

Last year, the ministry through the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) in collaboration with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA), launched a two-day workshop in block making and money management.   

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P with two recipients

The initiative provided economic opportunities to vulnerable persons to achieve financial stability.

Minister Walrond hopes the grants will help the recipients to expand or establish their own businesses.

Hopefully for you, this is now your spring board for bigger and better things, for bigger and better business. We want you to be able to employ persons, we want you to be able to say that your business is thriving so much that you are supporting six and seven families. This is the kind of progress that we will like to see.”

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P handing over the grant to a recipient

Meanwhile, Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) Ganesh Singh, said the community is grateful as this was something they were pursuing for some time.  

“It means a lot for the disability community because it is a way of them getting the capital to grow to establish new businesses. We know poverty and persons with disabilities, they have a marriage; it is inter-related and because of this, we have been pushing to ensure that persons with disabilities have some level of financial independence and one way we have been doing this is to promote small business establishments,” he expressed.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P, handing over the grant to a recipient

He noted further, that the recipients have a variety of business ventures, which include food processing, craft, and poultry ventures among others.

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