Halkitis: Government remains commitment to small business development

Halkitis: Government remains commitment to small business development
(FILE)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Davis administration remains committed to encouraging small business development and is looking at ways to garner more private sector involvement in that regard, according to Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis.

“We are not interrupting anything in terms of small business development. In fact, we will be looking at ways to get more private sector involvement in small business development. In some quarters some people say that $50 million is not enough. Quite frankly we agree but we have to do what our resources dictate,” said Halkitis, noting that the government’s commitment is $250 million over five years.

He said the funding would be distributed to several organizations involved in small business lending.

“We have an array of organizations such as The Bahamas Development Bank, the Venture Fund, the Small Business Development Centre, and then the government guarantee program that deals with small businesses. There is no diminution of the government’s commitment to small business development. We feel that this is the way to go particularly coming out of COVID-19. A lot of people are becoming entrepreneurs, some by choice and some by necessity. It is incumbent upon us to encourage that.”

During his 2021/2022 supplementary budget statement last month, Prime Minister Philip Davis said that government “will increase the proportion of Government expenditure allocated to small and medium businesses by amending the Procurement Act to protect local businesses against unfair competition”.