GCCI head calls for more help in financing businesses

first_imgPresident of the Guyana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, has called for better provisions to be put in place for persons wishing to expand or develop local businesses.He made this call on Friday during the launching of the inaugural Business Development Forum for local businesses at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.According to Indar, 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 persons go to the bank for a loan, there is a collateral requirement which, in many instances, serves as an impediment.“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 (unable to) grow, and we have to address that. We have to approach the appraisal system of banks (to determine) if it needs modification so that small businesses can get money,” Indar noted.He expressed dissatisfaction that when businesses, especially small businesses, are allotted money, they are often pressured to repay those loans instantly, thereby stifling their chance at economic growth.“When they do get access to funding, it must be (disadvantageous). 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 money can be accessed that is less rigorous to get and more competitive (to borrow),” he argued.Indar said the capital market would allow for businesses to develop from the micro stage to being large scale. He said it is quite ironic that large businesses have access to bank loans, whereas small businesses would be challenged despite being the ones needing capital. It is because of this ironic situation, Indar pointed out, that small businesses remain stagnant.He shared those views as the inaugural Business Development Forum kicked off on Friday.Back in June, the GCCI launched its Business Development Forum with the aim of expanding all businesses, whether small scale or large scale.The two-day Business Development Forum, 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).A fee of $20,000 was attached to attendance at the two-day event.last_img read more