The government of Dominica, last week, brought together owners of micro, small and medium sized businesses to commence the discourse on how the sector can build resilience.
The Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development, collaborated with the Organization of American States to host a two-day workshop with small business owners where making the sector stronger was the focus.
The Hon. Minister for Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development, Roslyn Paul, revealed that “the post-disaster national assessment report showed that the micro businesses and the enterprise sector suffered $119 million in damage, $18.5 million in losses and that we need $197 million to build back. “
The minister highlighted some of the interventions Government has initiated for strengthening the sector and facilitating its recuperation post hurricane Maria.
“We are progressively forging ahead and are taking advantage of or creating new opportunities such as recently passing a bill in parliament for the establishment of a partial guarantee fund that will facilitate an increased access to credit; that’s a regional effort with the OECS. The recently signed US$65 million with the World Bank, that will in large part, benefit agricultural enterprises and the almost immediate amendment to the credit facility at the AID Bank…,” she said.
Terms and conditions of credit facility for small business, agriculture and tourism at AID Bank were amended soon after the hurricane to further ease access to credit.
Hon. Paul stated that Government recognizes MSME’s as important economic drivers and emphasized the importance of small business owners implementing climate resilient strategies in all aspects of their business.
Hon Paul said transforming the sector involves building strong enterprise eco systems, and encouraging innovation, strengthening alliances for sharing information, stronger private/public sector partnership, greater appreciation of nature and its impact on businesses as well as the opportunities it provides and the use of renewable energy and green enterprises.
The workshop ran from Wednesday May 16th to 17th.