Sunday 24 May, 2020

Hew hears concerns of CI Small Business Association

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, Joey Hew, recently visited the Cayman Islands Small Business Association (CISBA) at their new location on Mary Street.

Hew accompanied by staff from the ministry met with the executive of the Cayman Islands Small Business Association.

A part from touring the association’s new location, the CISBA President, Dawn McLean-Sawney, used the opportunity to highlight some of the main issues association members face.

These include inadequate funding, too much red tape, challenges in securing venues to set up businesses and challenges based on definitions of micro (1-3 employees) and small (4-10 employees) businesses in provision of employee benefits.

Sawney emphasised the need for better concessions when obtaining loan financing so that repayment remains viable instead of setting up the small entrepreneur for failure.

The CISBA President further noted that many of the association’s members were also looking for opportunities to grow their businesses, including working with big businesses; more incentives including reduction in fees such as Customs and Trade and Business Licence fees; and encouragement for more women, especially single mothers, and retirees to be able to become small business owners.

Speaking at the tour, Minister Hew committed to exploring ways the ministry can interact and work jointly with the CISBA to promote their welfare and arrive at solutions.

“This was an excellent opportunity to hear about the challenges that our small business entrepreneurs face in the Cayman Islands. Government’s involvement, happily, does not end with merely providing annual grants to CISBA but also to follow their progress and jointly find ways to tackle and help find solutions to issues they face,” said Minister Hew.

Minister Hew also used the occasion to share some experiences and lessons he learned when he was the former president of the CI Chamber of Commerce.

Minister Hew was accompanied by Ministry Deputy Chief Officers, Leyda Nicholson-Makasare, Tamara Ebanks; Ministry Policy Advisor, Thais Ducent.

CISBA attendees included: Secretary,  Gina Lawrence; Director of Membership, Antoleen Williams and Assistant Director of Membership, Cheryl Al-Masri.

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