Categorized | National News

Economy Not Growing Enough, Says DPM

Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said that while the economy is growing, it is not growing enough as the latest unemployment figures show a lag between the growth of the labour force and the growth of new jobs.

 The Deputy Prime Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to providing an impetus to private sector growth via the support of Small and Medium – sized Enterprises as they account for the bulk of new job opportunities. 

“Many are the business ideas in the minds of thousands of young Bahamians. However, the harsh reality that most of their dreams awaken to is the absence of proper and willing capital channels to bring their ideas to fruition. 

“If no business ideas are being realized, then no new businesses are starting up, thereby meaning no new jobs, no new products, and essentially, no new economic activity.” 

“This is why putting capital into the hands of scores of young Bahamians is a key are in the growth strategy,” he said.

Mr. Turnquest reiterated the government’s pledge to fund capital to small businesses via guaranteed loans, equity, or grants to the tune of $25 million over a five year period.

However,  the government has exceeded their first year objective and is providing some $9 million in funding to small businesses. 

“This was made possible as three of our commercial banks have committed to joining the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and Bahamas Development Bank as funding partners. We expect more local banks to join in,” he said. 

Another important factor that Minister Turnquest pointed  out is that the selection of candidates that  is far removed from the direction and control of politicians. 

“No one has to come to me or the Prime Minister, or any Minister, or any MP to get sorted out. We recognize that this initiative will fail if it becomes a mechanism to dole out political favors.” 

“The only qualifications are that applicants only be Bahamian and able to demonstrate that they otherwise have the attitude, wherewithal, experience and commitment to make their specific project happen,” he said.   

The  Deputy Prime Minister’s  comments came during the midyear budget statement in the House of Assembly  yesterday. 


Written by Jones Bahamas

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