Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman (right), addressing the staff of Fund Access. Looking on from right to left are Permanent Secretary, Ruth Blackman; General Manager, Hamilton Roach; and Chairman of the Board, Lindell Earle. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, has lauded Fund Access for its efforts in facilitating the development of small businesses in the midst of an economic crisis.

Mr. Kellman, along with Permanent Secretary, Ruth Blackman, and other officials from the Ministry, visited the Pinfold Street institution today, where he met with General Manager, Hamilton Roach, Chairman of the Board, Lindell Earle, and staff members.

Highlighting the 240 small businesses which have been established through Fund Access since 2008, the Minister applauded the company for its "lovely track record". He, however, cautioned that their success rate would be measured by the number of people who have been taken on board and helped after being rejected by the commercial banks.

"As a Government organisation we are here to help… We have been set up to drive development-to-bring people from the bottom and take them to the top," Minister Kellman asserted.

Pointing out that there were persons who have a concept and a market for their product, but are unable to finance their project, the Small Business Minister reminded the Fund Access team that "[they] are in the business of lending and helping".

"There are persons who will have the creative ideas who will need your hand- not only in giving them a loan but in guiding them on how to effectively use that loan," Mr. Kellman stated.

He also alluded to those persons who may receive assistance from the organisation but are then unable to re-pay their loans. He noted that although it was expected that all clients must meet their obligations, they should not be "dropped" due to a change in the world’s economic situation.

"I’m not telling you to give the money to people who will take it and buy a Mercedes. We will have to provide guidance to ensure that they are doing what they are supposed to do with the money," Mr. Kellman affirmed.


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