The Government has allocated $100 Million for the Small Business Development Fund (SBDF) which will help to provide loans and grants to prospective small business owners.
Further, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, during the budget presentation yesterday, explained that the Government is examining the feasibility of expanding the grant programme to a level above the current $200,000 ceiling.
Measures in support of private sector development, especially small businesses in the budget also includes a provision of $212M to the Small Business Bureau. This included monies to equip and operationalize the business incubators at Lethem and Belvedere, Minister Edghill said.
Other measures include an allocation of $10M to the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Programme, which the Minister explained is being redesigned.
This redesign will “ensure that the intended outcomes of small and micro business development and livelihood improvements are being demonstrably achieved,” the Minister said.
The Government’s suite of measures, which also includes reversing the VAT on electricity, water, machinery and equipment, exports, and materials for the construction sector, among others, is towards improving the viability of small business start-ups and the sustainability of existing businesses, Minister Edghill noted.