100 Sophia residents benefit from gov’t’s business grant

Some 100 residents of Sophia, Georgetown on Saturday benefitted from the government’s $250, 000 business grant. This is a part of the government’s manifesto promise to ensure Guyanese across the country have access to business opportunities.

The grant was distributed at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, and was spearheaded by the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. The money will enable residents to start or expand their businesses.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall

The exercise was led by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy.

Minister Dharamlall noted that this initiative shows the government’s commitment to ensuring that citizens have access to funds, and opportunities to upscale their lives.

Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy speaking with residents.

“You have to have ambition to spend this money and don’t look at the amount, but look at what it can do, and so we hope that you are going to put it to good use,” he said.

He also said persons starting or expanding their business, should employ people from their community, to ensure that citizens have the opportunity to earn a living, and at the same time, contribute to the country’s development.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond

Minister Walrond further assured residents that the government will continue to support their business ventures.

She noted that the PPP/C administration is a ‘caring government’ and the grant is one such initiative undertaken to equally assist citizens. 

“With the business grant, we want to help you grow, and this will not be just a one-off, hand-you the money, this will be a constant support for you, and for your community, and for your families,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister McCoy noted that soon training opportunities will be accessible to Sophia residents. This will include techniques and principles of establishing, sustaining and growing their small businesses.

Floyd Jackson waiting to collect his business grant.

He further said government will continue to heavily invest in its human resources.

“Our intention is that we will work with you to enable you to grow, to empower you, to make you move from one stage to the other, upwards and to move so progressively over the next few years,” the minister pointed out.

The beneficiaries were happy for the grant and expressed their gratitude to the government.

Punkey Vishwanauth received her business grant.

Punkey Vishwanauth said, “I feel great, it gonna help me because like only couple days ago I was thinking about starting a business, but wondering who am I gonna ask for a help, and then a get a call saying that I’m here to receive a grant to help me open a business so I’m really thankful for it.”

Another beneficiary, Floyd Jackson noted,” It’s a good initiative and I wanna say thanks to the government, and to all those who have played a part in making this initiative successful.”

Shemera Kadan said, “I feel really happy about it, it’s a great initiative and it could help me a great lot to start a business.”

Shemera Kadan speaking with DPI.

During the distribution exercise, residents were given the opportunity to raise their concerns which included deteriorated streets, and the needed for street lights and proper drainage systems.

Government has already distributed approximately 12, 000 business grants to citizens across the country.

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