Photo Credit: Sherine Williams/BVI Platinum News
Entrepreneurs in the BVI will benefit from a $20M loan scheme under a Virgin Islands Party (VIP) government. This promise was made by party Chairman, Hon. Andrew Fahie through the party’s National Plan, which was launched yesterday, February 19.
“In the next three years we will seek to invest $20 million dollars through a revolving loan scheme that will encourage small business development by providing technical assistance and guidance, as well as seed capital,” he said.
Hon. Fahie further explained that people with business ideas will have to go through a training and approval process.
“This is because we are bent on giving our people a hand-up, not a hand-out, so that they can empower themselves and contribute to the building of their communities as proud citizens and residents,” he posited.
He went on to explain that in the first three years of the proposed small business assistance programme, they hope to influence the establishment of a minimum of 20 small businesses, each employing a minimum of five people – ensuring another 100 jobs.
“These small business jobs will be created primarily in agriculture, fishing, IT services, beauty supply services, health and fitness services, entertainment services and sports,” he said.
Last month, Hon. Myron Walwyn, Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) promised that once re-elected to government, they will pump $10M into the National Business Bureau to assist local businesses.
“…The new NDP will immediately upon taking office, fund the National Business Bureau with $10M to provide very low interest rate loans and in some cases, grants to farmers, fishermen, and other entrepreneurs seeking to further their businesses,” he said.
The business bureau is the brainchild of Premier and Finance Minister, Hon. Dr. D. Orlando Smith.
Hon. Walwyn said that with a strengthened business bureau, government wants to hold the hands of new and promising entrepreneurs and business people.