#Bahamas, September 25, 2017 – Nassau – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest said the government is undertaking several key initiatives to update the facilities that exist to aid small businesses and Bahamian business generally.
Speaking at the Eleuthera Business Outlook, September 21, 2017, DPM Turnquest said the government also needs to consolidate and improve access to these initiatives so that Bahamian entrepreneurs get timely and effective support.
He said one of the schemes involves the introduction of Small and Medium Enterprise Development support programs geared to provide advice and technical support to the Bahamian business community and help walk them through the sometimes confusing maze of government.
The DPM explained that the government is also creating incentives to encourage risk taking in non-traditional sustainable industries; establishing a One-Stop Shop to improve efficiency and access to government services; and improving customer facing software products to improve the ease and convenience of doing business with government across agencies.
Another initiative also involves strengthening the existing Bahamas Venture Capital Fund (BVCF) by increasing contributions into the FUND and coordinating other financing and business support agencies efforts, such as The Bahamas Development Bank, to avoid overlaps and mission creep.
“As you can see ladies and gentlemen, we are committed to providing meaningful assistance to small and medium sized local businesses and will continue to examine different ways and means of doing so.”
DPM Turnquest said, “You may have heard of the Prime Minister’s private/public sector driven ‘Ease of doing business Committee’, which is tasked with identifying obstacles to the ease of starting a business or investing in The Bahamas and making recommendations to the Government on measures to tackle these and enhance efficiency, accessibility and cost effectiveness.”
He said, “The Government is acutely aware of and sensitive to the fact that small and medium-sized business are the backbone of our economy. Breaking barriers and promoting success in this regard will in turn help achieve the ambitious rates of economic growth that have been set as targets.
“This, in turn, will ensure continued gains in poverty reduction and help ensure that those who have recently emerged from poverty do not slip back into its grip. This is a moral imperative in addition to an economic challenge and thus we must face our realities and improve the way we do business generally,” said DPM Turnquest.
By: Llonella Gilbert (BIS)