Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, during the 2022/23 fiscal year, announced that the micro and small business owners can now apply for fiscal incentives licenses at the Small Business Support Unit in line with the Government’s decision to upgrade the Unit into a one-stop shop for small enterprises.
In last year’s Budget Address, Government announced that the Small Business Unit would be refocused to expedite processes for small business applicants, including requests for concessions under the Fiscal Incentives Act.
The Cabinet has approved new guidelines for the granting of fiscal incentives licenses to micro and small enterprises effective July 1, 2022. The responsibility for investments by micro and small enterprises has been reassigned from Invest Dominica Authority to the Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives.
The processing of fiscal incentives is a significant addition to the existing portfolio of the Small Business Support Unit, which provides grants, business advisory services, technical assistance and marketing support to small businesses.
The $27.8 million loan facility for small and medium enterprises remains available at the AID Bank. Earlier this month, the Government and the AID Bank adjusted their Agreement to allow more flexible repayment terms for businesses engaged in seasonal activities, such as our taxi operators and craft vendors.
PM Skerrit asserted, “We will also set aside $1.5 million under this facility to provide loans to taxi operators to purchase coaster buses and other vehicles for their operation. ”
The Small Business Enterprise Development Programme is the Government of Dominica’s flagship mechanism for assisting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Its goal is to improve access to finance and technical assistance.
He said, “During Fiscal Year 2021/2022 we delivered on promises made in last year’s Budget Address:
- We upgraded the services offered at the Small Business Support Unit by transforming the Unit into a One Stop Shop for all MSMEs inquiries, information, financing, and other services including technical support and advice.
- In March, Government placed $27.8 million at AID Bank to on lend to small businesses at an interest rate of 3.50 percent. Sixty-seven (67) applicants have so far benefitted, receiving a total of $4.3 million.
- In addition, 120 businesses have benefitted from grants to small agro-processors, manufacturers, app and software designers, health and wellness practitioners and businesses in the creative industries.