By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE GOVERNMENT and the private sector were yesterday urged to develop a national definition for small and medium sized businesses, a well-known consultant telling Tribune Business that he was “pivoting” his consultancy to the international area.
Mark Turnquest, head of Mark A Turnquest Consulting, said that he was was “extremely disappointed” that the much talked about Small Business Act and Small Business Development Agency (SMEDA) had not come to fruition under successive administrations. Mr Turnquest said that he was now simply calling for small and medium sized businesses in the country to be defined, having lost the motivation to advocate for the long-awaited Small Business Act and SMEDA.
“I’m extremely disappointed that the Small Business Act and the Small Business Development Agency has not been given the full attention of both governments, the PLP and the FNM, over the past nine years. There’s been just too much talk. The challenge right now is that small businesses need attention and unfortunately there is a lot of inner hurt for small businesses.”
The Small Business Act proposes to create the SMEDA as a “one stop-shop” and as the “umbrella” body co-ordinating all the Government’s small business support services. Apart from providing all the resources necessary for start-ups and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses, SMEDA’s structure is also designed “to minimise political interference”.
“A lot of private organisations, especially business owners in the service industry, credit unions and commercial banks are always asking me for a definition of small businesses in the country because they have strategies they want to implement to develop their offering to suit the small business person,” Mr Turnquest said. “I think that is beyond my pay grade so to speak. I’m suspending my focus on the Small Business Act and SMEDA during this administration. I’m not motivated anymore. All I want the government to do is decide with the private sector a national definition of a small and medium sized business. It’s apparent that anything else would not get approved because the conversation is not aligned with that philosophy.”
Mr Turnquest said that he was pivoting his business focus to the international arena, saying “I don’t see any opportunity in the country for small business and management consultants”.
“Right now I’m really focusing on moving my business model away from the country into the international arena, preferably England and Europe. I’m not focusing on the Bahamas as a long-term strategy because the small businesses need attention. I’m about to receive an international accreditation, I’m moving away from my current business model because I’m moving my management consultancy into the international arena.”