The Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) has approved more than $61 million in support for small businesses and disbursed close to $52 million up to the end of 2020, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealed yesterday.
The government committed $55 million this fiscal year to support Bahamian entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“As of December 31st, 2020 the SBDC has, through the Access Accelerator, approved $18.8 million in funding and has disbursed $11 million. $41 million has been approved through the Business Continuity program, with $40 million disbursed,” the prime minister said during the virtual Bahamas Business Outlook.
“In the first round of the Standalone Grant Programme, $985,590 has been granted. A second round of grants has been initiated with 3,200 applications. A third round will be launched shortly. Currently, a total of $2 million has been allocated for standalone grants.
“Following the recommendations of the Economic Recovery Committee, the Ministry of Finance has allocated to the SBDC a new location to effect two new incubators in New Providence and one new incubator in Grand Bahama. The Youth Incubator and Tech Incubator will be launched before summer, giving young entrepreneurs and tech-based entrepreneurs hands-on assistance with their startups alongside funding. This will be mirrored in Grand Bahama.”
The prime minister also provided more details on the establishment of a digital marketplace, which was a recommendation of the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC). He said this initiative will also be taken on by the SBDC.
“Small business development has been at the heart of my
government’s economic vision and agenda from its inception. Our vision is greater ownership of our economy by many more Bahamian entrepreneurs, artisans, innovators and dreamers. Toward this end, the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) will develop a digital marketplace,” he said.
“This digital space will help small businesses to take advantage of an e-commerce platform without having to invest and build one for themselves. This platform will enable Bahamian manufacturers and craft people to have the ability to sell their items online. We are focused on business incubators and startups, including tech startups. Bahamian small businesses and artisans will be able to access the platform and jointly market products and services locally and internationally.”
The ERC released in October its executive summary of 163 recommendations covering a range of areas to spur economic activity.