Private funders are being sought to invest in small businesses in an effort to rebuild the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Executive Director Davinia Grant said yesterday.
While the government provided close to $40 million last fiscal year toward its Business Continuity Program, aimed at assisting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) stay afloat during the economic fallout from the pandemic, Grant said more support is needed from angel investors.
“One of the things we’re trying to do to help our clients as much as possible is in addition to whatever reliance we have on the government, we are really looking for donor partners who believe that investing in small businesses is investing in the overall success of the country,” she told Guardian Business.
“So we are aggressively looking for donors as well as looking to release our crowd funding platform, where we’re hoping that Bahamians who have financial resources can look directly to support small businesses alongside the government as a partner.
“We have to be creative and innovative at this point and in doing so we need donors and we need private funders who are willing to support small businesses that have creative ideas, that can keep us going through these times.”
More than 3,000 small businesses applied for the government’s Business Continuity Program since it was established in March.
The SBDC approved $38 million in loans for approximately 550 applicants. The government also allocated $55 million during this fiscal year to support MSMEs, $25 million of which will come in the form of a loan guarantee from the Inter-American Development Bank.