Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Peter Turnquest said last week that the government will be investing $5 million to launch the Small Business Development Initiative, projecting this new budget will be transformational as it will establish a new era of fiscal responsibility.
In a statement, Turnquest indicated that the new injection of $5 million will support various business sizes
“… the government has included in the budget $5 million to launch a Small Business Development Initiative that will support small and medium-sized businesses, providing them with the incentives and assistance needed to survive and thrive,” Turnquest said.
According to Turnquest, under this programme, Bahamian entrepreneurs will have access to direct financing.
“We will also provide support for market research and financial management and other business support,” he said.
“In other words, the government is investing the people’s money to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and to increase the competitiveness of the Bahamian labour force,” he confirmed.
Turnquest emphasized that the government wants Bahamians to “have access to more fulfilling jobs, better-paying jobs, and opportunities which will create social progress.
The deputy prime minister also stated that social progress goes hand in hand with increased economic freedom.
Such economic freedom requires that Bahamians have more opportunities to create their own jobs and to be more competitive in the private sector.
“Although the government is the primary employer today, it is laying the groundwork to flip this around,” he said.
“In a healthy, vibrant economy, it is the private sector … entrepreneurs, small businesses and mature industries that drive innovation and job creation.
“We have included in the budget $2.6 million worth of investment in scholarships at Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute (BTVI) so that the cost of skills training and certification is not a barrier for Bahamians seeking to increase their competitiveness,” he added.
“To tie it all together, this budget is a transformational budget because it establishes a new era of fiscal responsibility. We are drawing a line under the mountain of payment arrears and unpaid bills left to accumulate shamelessly by previous governments.”
Turnquest said the government is implementing proper and right budgeting for all known spending commitments so that “no further arrears build up in the future”.