$5 Million air marked for small businesses


Earlier this year, the government said that it would invest $25 million to develop small and medium-sized enterprises in the country. Of that, $5.5 million has been earmarked to
establish a small business development center. The acting financial secretary Marlon Johnson said that the center is designed to provide technical support and capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Johnson says that they are allowing loans, grants, and equity to those from micro business persons who may need a thousand dollars to larger businesses who need up to a quarter of a million dollars or more in a loan or equity financing. It intends to compliment some of the work that’s already out there and done by entities like the Bahamas Venture Capital Fund and the Bahamas Development Bank. The center is meant to be a one-stop shop of sorts for people who are looking to get into business and expand their business and to get them the cash they need as well as the expertise for their businesses and their initiatives to succeed.

It’s a partnership between the government, the University of The Bahamas, the Bahamas
Chamber of Commerce and the employers confederation. Davinia Blair has been appointed to the head operations there, and it's expected to come stream soon. Johnson also said that now that the executive director is present, in a matter of months the center should be operational. Currently, the center is solely government-funded but government’s intention to seek domestic and international funding in order to leverage that $5 million into substantially more so that more local businesses can be helped.

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