DPM: Govt. eyeing more relief for businesses

DPM: Govt. eyeing more relief for businesses
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is considering alternative stimulus or incentive packages for Bahamian businesses impacted by the COVID-19 fall-out, Deputy Prime Minister K Peter Turnquest said yesterday.

Turnquest told Eyewitness News these options would be separate from the $20 million allocated to assist small and medium sized businesses.

“We are looking at how we might be able to provide some kind of stimulus, incentive or concession to other businesses,” he said.

“This is an extremely expensive undertaking and we don’t know where the bottom is yet with the course of this virus. We do have to be somewhat conservative and ensure that whatever we decide to do we can maintain it for the long haul.”

Turnquest also noted that reviving the small business sector is critical to the health of the domestic economy.

The government has allocated $20 million government to help SMEs businesses stay afloat amid the VOVID-19 fall-out and economic downturn.

Turnquest said: “There is going to be a bit of a lag in our source markets coming back on line. That means that the small businesses who don’t normally have access to credit are going to find it difficult to weather this storm.

“They do employ a significant portion of our population. It is important that we ensure their viability so that at the end of the crisis they are able to emerge stable and have a foundation upon which to grow.”

He added: “We are committed to the small business sector through the SBDC but as we face challenge with Dorian and now COVID-19 we have to likewise focus on existing businesses to ensure that we don’t allow them to fail, to the extent that we are able to provide some intervention.”.