NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is “betting big” on small businesses and the Bahamian entrepreneurial spirit to help mitigate the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and revive the economy, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the SBDC’s two-year anniversary, Turnquest noted the government’s $55 million injection into the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre this fiscal year is aimed at boosting the small business sector in an effort to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, particularly the significant downturn in the country’s tourism sector.
“We’re betting big, $55 million dollars big on Bahamians and Bahamian businesses,” Turnquest said.
He noted that strengthening the domestic economy is a core pillar of the Minnis administration’s ‘Resilient Bahamas’ fiscal and economic plan.
“I am confident that the investment that we put in is going to pay dividends well into the future as we see the wealth of this country more dispersed, as we see businesses more diversified and see more sustainable economic opportunity for our country,” said Turnquest.
He added: “As we consider our current circumstances and the challenges being faced we are betting on business.
“We believe that the sustainable and sound foundation built on small businesses, diversified across the economy is going to be the catalyst that is going to allow us to have the recovery we need.
“Betting on Bahamians is a sure way to create jobs, build wealth and develop a robust and resilient Bahamian economy.”
Since its inception, the SBDC has assisted micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in The Bahamas with access to $52.7 million in funding; $15 million via the Access Accelerator programs and $37.7 million via its business continuity program.