Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Small Business Bureau to be established in BVI

BVI Chief Minister's Office has said that the British Virgin Islands government is planning to launch a Small Business Bureau and loan guarantee fund on July 30, which will be administered by the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs. The initiative was highlighted by Chief Minister Orlando Smith on June 5, during his fourth annual State of the Territory Address. Mr. Smith said that this fund would provide local entrepreneurs with access to affordable loans. "Already, numerous enterprising local business people have filed applications for loans, and we expect to issue the first loans within the next eight weeks," he commented.

The head of the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs Yvonne Crabbe confirmed that they are taking steps toward having the Small Business Bureau ready for its launch near the end of next month. Among them, there are efforts to constitute an SSB Board and a Small Business Loan Guarantee Committee. She said, “We are holding discussions and negotiations with the participating lending institutions regarding the Small Business Loan Guarantee, in an effort to make the terms and credit requirements more conducive to small businesses." The Attorney General's Chambers is preparing the necessary legal agreements that would have to be executed by the Small Business Bureau.

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