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Adviser: Small Business Centre Must Be 'Holistic'

By NATARIO MCKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A small business advisor has urged the Government to involve the sector in establishing the Small Business Development Centre, warning that the concept must be "holistic" and clearly define those it will help.

Mark Turnquest, principal of Mark A Turnquest and Company, told Tribune Business: "Whatever model is created it has to focus on grant funding, business management training and business management consulting. It has to be all under one roof at one time; it can't be in isolation.

"Every department that caters to small business in the country has to be on one accord. There has be synergy. I don't mind what they call it but it has to make sense and ensure that small businesses benefit."

Deputy Prime Minister, K Peter Turnquest, revealed last week that the Ministry of Finance, the US Small Business Development Centres and the University of the Bahamas are currently collaborating to create the Bahamas Small Business Development Centre, which will be hosted at the University of the Bahamas.

Mr Turnquest added: "There has to be incentives for small businesses to get in business and stay in business. It can't simply address one or two things; it has to be holistic.

"Whatever model the Government wants to create, it has to be done based on consultation and must clearly define what is a small business . Small businesses have to be involved in developing the structure."

Mr Turnquest, who was addressing the Billionaire Roundtable conference last week, said of the proposed small business centre: "All of the services will be provided free to the public as a public service. Our aim is to ensure that we maximise the efficiency of every dollar of capital invested in entrepreneurial activities by Bahamian businesses.

"We want our investments to succeed, and to minimise unnecessary failure. Funding for the Centre has been allocated in the National Budget, premises have already been secured and I am advised that plans are well under way to making this dream a reality in the coming months."

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