Governments across the world are putting several measures in place to cushion the effects of the coronavirus on small businesses and even employees who have been laid off or have work from home. In Canada for example, more than CAD$20B worth of direct support has been set aside for small businesses and workers.

As Guyana braces to take on more social distancing measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel virus, there are growing concerns about the effects the outbreak is going to have on the bottomline of businesses and the domino effects on employees. It was against this backdrop that the Guyana Standard questioned Finance Minister Winston Jordan on the possibility of direct support that can be granted to help struggling businesses and citizens during this time.

The economist was keen to note that a detailed assessment of the situation has to be done as well as proposals have to be made. “With limited access to financing during this period, we are restricted in what we can do and provide,” the Minister said.

Also, with no Parliament and no Budget in place, Jordan said that many of the relief measures being proposed will lack efficacy. “(And) in spite of the talk in the media, no private sector agency or body has approached the government with concrete proposals,” Jordan stated.

In the meantime, Minister Jordan noted that several Ministries have made requests for funding to help their efforts in fighting the spread of the virus. These he said, are being dealt with. Thus far, the Ministry of Public Health has received over $120M to support its initiatives.

The coalition administration has also applied to the World Bank for a US$5M loan to boast its current financial capacity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here