PM Davis To Small & Medium-Sized Businesses: “We are investing in building a broader ownership class”

Nassau, Bahamas — In a roundtable discussion held on May 15th, Prime Minister Philip Davis met with local small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to discuss government-led initiatives and the challenges faced by the business community.

The meeting, hosted in conjunction with the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre, underscored the Davis Administration’s commitment to supporting Bahamian entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in the face of recent adversities, including Hurricane Dorian, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a global inflation crisis.

The roundtable was attended by 26 small businesses, including nine from the Family Islands, who attended via video conferencing. The forum presented an opportunity for the businesses to present their challenges and hopes for the upcoming fiscal year and to pose their most pressing questions to policy makers. The SMEs raised an array of topics such as crown land applications, downtown revitalisation, and cost and ease of doing business.

During the discussion, Prime Minister Davis highlighted the resilience and adaptability of Bahamian SMEs, commending them for their agility, resourcefulness, and grit in navigating recent tumultuous times.

The Prime Minister also underscored the government’s commitment to enhancing the capacity of Bahamian SMEs. He outlined a number of government-led funding and capital access opportunities such as the $25 million in loans and equity financing available to SMEs over the next 5 years via Access Accelerator, the $450,000 in business development grants allocated for young entrepreneurs (up to 30) – $200,000 of which is reserved for family island youth.

Emphasizing the government’s commitment to a more diversified and inclusive economy, Prime Minister Davis touted the Bahamas Development Bank’s loan program which has disbursed nearly $4.5 Million via 14 loans to Bahamian businesses across six different industries.

He also spoke about The Orange Economy Micro Technology Grants aimed at boosting the country’s creative artists’ potential and renewed interest in the agriculture and fishing industries.

Prime Minister Davis reaffirmed his commitment to justice and fairness in the face of global climate change and its economic impact. He stated that his fight for fair climate finance is a fight for resources owed to build an economy in which many more Bahamians can participate and thrive.

Today’s roundtable meeting was a critical component of the Your Gov, Your Voice initiative of The Office of The Prime Minister, which aims to engage external stakeholders, increase public engagement in policy making, and boost transparency in Government communications. Similar meetings will be held with other groups throughout the nation.

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