By Youri Kemp
A Cat Island company has secured $112,500 in investment loans from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) through the Access Accelerator, Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
Alvernia Business Consulting (ABC Bahamas Ltd.) is a boutique Information Technology (I.T.) service provider specializing in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) technologies and support.
The company’s principal, James Woodside, told Tribune Business that upon graduating from the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) with a certificate in Computer Repairs he travelled to Cat Island aiming to assist his grandparents, but ended up heading his own business.
Finding someone to inject capital into the business hadn't been easy.
"Accessing capital as a service-based company is next to impossible unless you already have funds or personal assets equal in value to the amount requested," he said.
"Most banks that I’ve approached required 100 percent equity financing for business loans.”
Woodside also said about the SBDC in his release: “It’s more than just financing. It’s important to hear constructive feedback on your business idea, even if you are already in business. Many business ideas are great, but not sustainable in our local markets. We cannot overlook being challenged to qualify and quantify what it would require to build a profitable business in The Bahamas.”
The SBDC is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC). The Centre will work to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ("MSMEs") in The Bahamas.
Mr. Woodside said he will use the new money "to start building out his company’s private cloud" and then he is going to bring some new services on for SMEs, like disaster relief services and recovery services.
Wodside added: "We are also doing business continuity services along with IT disaster recovery planning.”
He said that a lot of a service based business are affected in Abaco and Grand Bahama and other parts of the country and he wants to make sure they can get back up and running even if they no longer have office space available to them.
"We can digitize their offices and offer to clients a remote office," he explained.