Lack of access to financing stifling small businesses- GCCI Head

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The lack of access to financing is a huge impediment to micro businesses seeking to expand or develop further.

This is according to Deodat Indar, Head of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), who, in a two-day workshop held for businesses on Friday at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston Georgetown, made calls for better provisions to be made for persons wishing to expand.

GCCI President, Deodat Indar

Indar said in most cases persons wishing to develop a business are left with no other option but “to borrow, we (may) have some savings, some family member lends us some money or pool the money into it or we go to the bank for a loan”.

He stressed that, “When we go to the bank for a loan, regardless of which institution in Guyana, there is some form of collateral requirement which is the impediment. It is a grave impediment that makes small business cannot grow and we have to address that. We have to approach the appraisal system of banks, if it needs modification so that small businesses can get money”.

The GCCI head even expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that when businesses, especially small scale ones, are allotted money they are many a times forced with the pressure of repaying those loans instantly which stifles the chance of economic growth.

“When they do get access to funding it must be competitive too. You can’t have funding at a price that is blocking the foot of the business before it even starts to walk. So what we have to do is ensure we look at a capital market development where monies can be accessed that is less rigorous to get and more competitive,” he argued.

According to him, the capital market will allow for businesses to develop from the micro stage, to the large scale.

In June the GCCI launched its Business Development Forum with the aim of expanding all businesses, whether small or large scale.

The two-day workshop which concluded on Saturday focused on areas such as access to capital, insurance policies, incentives for investment, export market readiness, donor agency funding, modern marketing tools, registration and compliance.

The event was hosted in partnership with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); Nations University; Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business; Republic Bank Guyana Limited and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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