Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest announced Tuesday that seven companies that have gone through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) have been recommended to access a total $1.5 million to begin or expand their businesses.
Turnquest, who made the announcement at the SBDC’s Christmas party, said he is confident that those small business owners will be successful in receiving the funding they have asked for.
“We are well on our way to creating those millionaires,” said Turnquest.
Those businesses chosen included Drive Green Rentals, owned by University of The Bahamas student Benjamin Davis, who is seeking $200,000; Cee-Marr Telecommunications, owned by Charles Richardson, who is seeking $150,000; Exuma Christian Academy, owned by Keniqua Bethel, who is seeking $250,000; Ride Bahamas (Grand Bahama), owned by John McPhee, who is seeking $95,000; Shiver Premium Ice Cream, owned by Elvis Percentie and Melissa Darville, who are seeking, $200,000; The Vue A/V, owned by Juan Bethel, who is seeking $243,000; and Island Bike, owned by DiMaggio and Terenique Darville, who are seeking $400,000.
Turnquest explained the the SBDC will use the government’s pledge of $5 million per year towards funding small businesses as a guarantee to those investors who might take on some of these new businesses either in the form of equity, debt or grants.
This is the first round of funding announced by the SBDC and Turnquest explained that the amount pledged has risen to $7 million thanks to commitments from other entities. He announced that the Inter-American Development Bank will be tapped for even more funding options.
According to Turnquest, the SBDC’s processes have been smooth because government has given its board the “autonomy it needs to be successful.”
He told the entrepreneurs he announced on Tuesday night to be prepared to take control of the Bahamian economy through their businesses, and to support each other.