Developing small businesses and creating entrepreneurs remain high on the agenda of the Ministry of Business’, Small Business Bureau (SBB). During a recently held meeting with the North Rupununi District Development Board, it was disclosed that the SBB will be expanding its services to more hinterland communities.
Training and Development Officer, Small Business Bureau, Audrey Gomes
Training and Development Officer, of the SBB, Audrey Gomes noted that the bureau recently increased the number of grants available from 300 to 500. Gomes pointed out that thus far, every region has benefitted from opportunities available from the bureau with the exception of Regions One, Seven, Eight and Nine.
“The drive of this current government is to make all the regions equal in terms of having all of them access our grants,” Gomes stated.
Aside from the grants that are available, Gomes noted that the SBB also helps persons with big business plans to acquire loans from commercial banks. She said that persons are allowed to borrow up to $30M from either Republic Bank or the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry at a maximum interest rate of 6 percent per annum.
“I see the drive of the government at this time is to develop entrepreneurship, and our department’s Small Business Bureau, we are there to help develop the entrepreneurship drive amongst small businesses,” Gomes advised.
According to Gomes, it is recognised that most persons are not too cognisant with how to operate a business and make it successful. “We want them to move from just doing business to making a profit to growing their business, growing employment,” Gomes stressed.
Gomes also pointed out that the SBB will be offering training to persons interested in starting or enhancing an existing business in 200 courses from 12 institutions.
Additionally, it was related to the Toshaos at the meeting that the SBB also provides sponsorship for persons wanting to showcase their products at expositions locally, and overseas.