Consultant warns SMEs ‘finished’ without $100 mil. injection

Consultant warns SMEs ‘finished’ without $100 mil. injection
Mark Turnquest

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — At least 40 percent of small and medium sized businesses in the country are ‘finished’, a well-known small business consultant warned yesterday.

Mark Turnquest, principal of Mark A Turnquest Consulting told Eyewitness News the sector needs an injection of at least $100 million, with key focus on businesses in agriculture, information technology and manufacturing sectors.

The government has increased the the capital budget allocation for small business growth and development from $5 million last year to $55 million in the new budget.

Small business growth and development has been flagged as one of the sectors the government will focus on to accelerate economic recovery.

“The challenge is they need $100 million minimum not maximum,” Turnquest said.

“The government should partner with the private sector, do crowd funding or some innovative plan to attract foreign investors to the country to assist them in three most important segments that must be fully operational between now and next year. Those sectors are manufacturing, information technology and agriculture. Forty five million needs to be earmarked to those three most important industries. That is the future.”

He said: “That $55 million is not going to assist to the extent that they want. You have a lot of small businesses in the tourism sector for instance and that industry not in play right now. Agriculture, IT and manufacturing give the most value for buck right now. That’s the future.”

In the current economic environment, Turnquest said there are businesses that will adapt and survive and those that won’t or cannot and will die.

“The businesses that cannot innovate with curb side service and e-commerce platforms etc are going to die. On the other hand there are going to be new businesses focused on current challenges and realities,” he continued.

“I can guarantee you one thing. Forty percent of businesses are finished, a lot of the small, medium sized and micro-businesses. That’s a reality. This virus is going to expose a lot of challenges. If your business was already on life support, it’s gone. For those that don’t want to adjust their model, their business is going to die.

Turnquest added: “The old model is finished. A lot of businesses may not make it to the end of June.”


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