May 14, 2010
New Small Business Development Policy launched in SVG

A meeting which examined The New Enabling Framework for Small Business Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was held on Thursday, April 29.{{more}}

Minister of Telecommunications and Industry Jerrol Thompson delivered the keynote address in which he made the official declaration and launch of the New Small Business Development Policy for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

The Policy was developed with assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat through the services of Consultants Melvin Edwards of Development Co-operators International, and Steve Van Houten of Accord International Management Services Inc.

The consultation was held to discuss The Implementation Plan of the Policy and key ‘Quick-Wins’, including a new Small Business Development Bill to replace the former Small Business Act of 2007.

Legal Counsel, Petrona Sealey Browne, who was instrumental in drafting the new Bill, was on hand to present the Bill to the meeting, provide clarifications, and receive necessary feedback from stakeholders for enhancement of the Draft.

The New Proposed Small Business Act would seek to elevate the concept of small business in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to a new level, where registered Small Business Companies under the Companies Act and Business Names are approved as certified Small Businesses, having met certain criteria identified in the Act.

The Act provides a number of relevant incentives, including technical assistance through the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc and other designated Business Development Organizations, and some relief from the various forms of taxation and administration fees to qualified Small Businesses which are willing to undertake the challenge of formal registration and application process, as well as the discipline of operating their businesses based on good management practices, record keeping and monitoring. In addition, it also provides for the establishment of a Small Business Development Fund and incentives for contribution to this fund.

The Bill also contemplates that the Small Business Development Unit within the Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology and Industry will serve as the agency responsible for overall administration of the Act.

Applications for approved Small Business Status under the Act are to be submitted for Cabinet’s approval through this Business Development Unit. Copies of the current draft are available on the governments’ website ( ), on which comments are invited from the public.