The Small Business Development (Amendment) Bill, 2022 Passed; More Businesses Will Now Benefit From Government Assistance

BASETERRE, St. Kitts, November 04, 2022 (SKNIS): On November 4th, 2022, Sitting of the National Assembly of St. Kitts and Nevis, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship the Hon. Samal Duggins moved the Small Business Development (Amendment) Bill, 2022 which was successfully passed in the House. According to Minister Duggins, the changes will allow more local businesses to benefit from government assistance.

“The Small Business Development (Amendment) Bill, 2022 seeks to amend the Small Business Development Act passed in 2009 to provide a framework and support for small businesses operating in St. kits. It is important to note that Nevis has a separate micro and small-scale business enterprise ordinance that specifically applies to Nevis. So, I want to assure the public that my references of St. Kitts alone in this case is the result of our constitutional arrangements. In fact, calls for more support for small businesses are resounding, as more and more entrepreneurs struggle to navigate the post-pandemic existence. The rising cost of raw materials, supply chain disruptions and other commercial realities have made it increasingly difficult to survive without thriving,” said Minister Duggins.

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Minister Duggins has previously stated that he aims to transform business by providing business owners with the latest technology and resources needed to be competitive in the global marketplace.

“Clause 3 of the Bill provides for the first amendment; it has just transferred the Ministerial responsibility of small business development from the Minister of Industry and Trade to the Minister of Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship in accordance with the newly designated portfolios. The second amendment deals with part of the definition of a small business. Under the Small Business Development Act, a small business is defined as a business that meets a number of benchmarks including making less than two million dollars in revenue annually; that it has less than one million dollars in paid-up capital and that it has less than 25 employees. Clause 4 of the current Bill seeks to amend the Act by extending that third element relating to the number of employees. This Bill proposes that the size of small business enterprises move from a business with 25 employees to 30 employees,” said Minister Duggins.

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According to Minister Duggins, the need to increase the number of employees is based on data obtained from various businesses that would have applied to the Government for assistance. Minster Duggins also said the amendments will create more job opportunities in several sectors throughout the domestic economy.

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