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SMEs in Bahamas face “a myriad of challenges”

Chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation Chester Cooper has said that small and medium-sized enterprises in The Bahamas greater access to capital and more support from the government. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012

The recently elected chairman of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Chester Cooper, has spoken out on funding challenges for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in The Bahamas.

The chairman urged government to develop a co-ordinated approach to allow small business leaders to grow their companies and contribute more effectively to the local economy.

Speaking at the BCCEC’s International Trade and Financing Seminar held in Nassau recently, Cooper said: “As the recently elected Chairman of the BCCEC with SME development as my main mandate, it is fitting this is one of my first public appearances. The lack of access to funding and operating with inadequate capital cuts to the core of the myriad of challenges facing SMEs in The Bahamas.”

At the seminar, which was co-hosted by the US Embassy, Cooper highlighted the role of SMEs in contributing to the country’s gross domestic product, saying that small businesses make up more than 75 per cent of all Bahamian businesses and are integral to creating jobs and reviving the economy.

“The government wants to create 43,000 jobs. The capability of SMEs to be the leader in employment creation is evident in countries such as Singapore. It is with that backdrop that I urge the government to pass small business legislation. A more co-ordinated approach will achieve greater results.”

“The expansion of choice for funding and access to capital is necessary to provide sustainable means of creating commerce and expanding opportunities not only for SMEs, but also for all business.”

“It is important that smaller business continues to aspire to be big business.”


Refocussing the Bahamas Development Bank, strengthening the domestic economy, reducing crime and developing the Family Islands are some of the core imperatives laid out by the Prime Minister in the Budget Communication May 30. Pictured: Prime Minister Perry Christie holds up the Progressive Liberal Party’s Charter for Governance during the Budget Communication in Parliament May 30, 2012. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

The oceanfront villa resort located on Emerald Bay in Great Exuma has completed the sale of its remaining units to a Canadian developer. The resort consists of 78 luxuriously appointed one- to four-bedroom villas and penthouses for sale and rent.

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