Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 08, 2019 (SKNIS): The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) aims at providing proficient and sufficient technical support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). Against this backdrop, Delwayne Delaney, Senior Officer for SBDC, says that the agency will “hold the hands” of small businesses wishing to take their business to the next level.
While appearing on the radio and television show “Working for You” on May 08, Mr. Delaney said that small businesses are integral to the growth of the economy, adding that it is necessary to support them.
“That is why so much emphasis is placed on the Small Business Development through the Act and provisions that are made through the ministry to ensure that small businesses on a whole are given that support to push themselves forward,” he said.
Mr. Delaney said that there are several challenges when operating a small business. The main challenge that the SBDC assists with is managing the business’ finances and record keeping.
“We realize that the lack of record keeping and managing of finances hinder them from accessing financing from the bank or even from an investor,” he said. “They won’t be able to have a true and clear picture of how the business is actually doing. [For] many small business owners, that is not their primary job. So what you see is that perhaps the weekly salary is mixed with their side job and they don’t have a true reflection of how the business is doing.”
The senior officer noted that some businesses are operating at a loss and may not be aware of it as their finances are not in order.
Mr. Delaney said that the SBDC provides training for small business owners to help them operate in an efficient manner.
“We have focused a lot on training,” he said. “Actually, last month we had a training with Alex Straun on financing at the ITC Center. We continue to train and retrain when persons come in for duty-free concessions or business plans. We emphasize not only finances, but the different aspects of their business that need to be up to speed. [We] ensure that they get training and use that as a mandatory platform, and say if you want us to continue processing your application these are some of the steps you have to take.”
Mr. Delaney stated that the SBDC ensures that there are “hand holding sessions” and that small business owners are aware of them.
“…We expect you to be there. If not, your application could be on hold until,” he said. “So we don’t give them the concessions and then they are on their way. We ensure that they have the necessary skills and tools so that they can take that next step in terms of their business career.”