Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Bahamas SME Act
 Should be legislated within 100 Days

By Mark A. Turnquest, MBA

Date: May 6, 2017

After reviewing the manifestos of all major political parties it is expressed and implied that the Bahamas SME Act will be legislated within 5 years (2017-2022) by the new government. It is also indicated that SME Development Centres will be established sometime in the future. However, I stress that the Bahamas SME Act and SME Development Centres should be legislated and established within 100 days after the new parliamentary session has begun.  The SME Act must be one of the first legislations pass in the house because it is passed overdue and the entire country is suffering because of it not being enacted. This is evident because we have a high national debt and deficit and a low economic growth forecast. In addition, there are so many economic downgrades by international financial watchdogs.

After I had hosted the first Bahamas Small Business Summit in 2009, it was expected that a SME Act would have been legislated and a SME Development Agency, to oversee it, would be established within a few years. However, It is amazing that 10 years after the small business summit such an important legislation was not enacted a long time ago because government and private sectors policy makers always tout the philosophy that small businesses are driving forces of countries and should demand full national support and commitment.
The SME Act will foster inter-government ministries/departments synergy (BAIC, BDB, BEVF and Business License. etc.). In addition, it will increase intra-stakeholders synergy (BCCEC, IICA, IDB, OCED, ILO, WTO etc.). The SME Act will increase the GDP and the entrepreneurial spirit of Bahamians; and reduce the unemployment level, national debt, national deficit and most importantly the high crime level. The SME Act will encompass a sustainable National Family Island Development Plan.

Failure to legislate the SME Act in 100 days will cause The Bahamas to lose its economic and cultural creativity in comparison to our Caribbean neighbors and the World in the following important categories: Ease of Doing Business, Starting a Business, Sovereign Credit Rating and the Human Resource Index.
For an expanded version of this article contact Mark A. Turnquest MBA, at Tell: 326-6748 / 4273640; email: or website