By Dillon Goring
GUYANA’S Small Business Bureau (SBB) is moving diligently forward in 2021 to ensure that small businesses in the country are technologically ready to transact business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
This assurance was given by Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Dr Lowell Porter, during an interview with the Pepperpot Magazine.
Dr. Porter, outlining plans for the new year, noted that at the SBB, the focus is only on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and not Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“So what we have planned at the moment is to ensure that businesses understand the environment in which they are functioning at the moment, so we have a lot of precautionary measures that were implemented, and it is important that as small businesses, you start to look at how can [you] adapt to that new environment,” Dr .Porter told Pepperpot Magazine.
He also gave the assurance that since a lot of businesses have diversified in the way they deliver services and products to their customers, he hopes that this effort of providing efficient services will continue in 2021.
“Those are the things that we want to instill in small businesses, that they look for the opportunities in the pandemic,” Dr Porter reiterated.
In view of the pandemic, a number of small businesses in Guyana utilised the opportunity to migrate the use of social media platforms Dr Porter opined, while noting the importance of the readiness of these businesses to adapt to the changes in their method of delivery of products and services to various customers and clients.
“The Small Business Bureau has seen an increase in that regard, and thus that was the benefit of COVID for small businesses to think outside of the box, but the infrastructure in terms of providing services for clients residing outside of Georgetown needed strengthening,” Dr Porter said.
He made it clear that the SBB will, in 2021, continue itb awareness campaign, to create discussion between the bureau and clients coming up with solutions to cushion the effects of the pandemic, should it persist in the new year.
Dr. Porter announced that manufacturing businesses and production businesses will continue to receive grants and loans from the bureau, to maintain and sustain their businesses during the COVID season and beyond.
“We believe that is the main issue for small businesses here in this country, that need that access to finance, but not because they want money we are going to give money. We want them to understand the value of that money,” Porter told Pepperpot Magazine.
Small Businesses and the tourism sector will in 2021 benefit from more training programmes done by the bureau, so that small businesses in the country can become viable to the general public.
Dr. Porter recalled that during a visit to several small businesses around the country, the potential was realised for these businesses to become more viable during the COVID season and even afterwards.