House: Burt praises BEDC
David Burt, the Premier, praised the work of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation to encourage entrepreneurship and create jobs.
Speaking in the House of Assembly this morning, Mr Burt said 27 businesses were approved for direct micro loans in the 2018-19 financial year, resulting in a total of $431,816 of the quango’s funds being loaned.
Another 20 businesses were able to benefit from $3.8 million in bank loans supported by BEDC through almost $1.7 million in guarantees.
Mr Burt added: “The decision to increase the BEDC’s loan guarantee percentage from 50 per cent to 65 per cent resulted in five businesses receiving approved bank loans.
“Twelve businesses have been approved for micro loans in the first five months of this financial year resulting in $183,156 of the BEDC’s funds being lent.
“Multiple applications are being actively processed for both micro loans and loan guarantees.”
The Premier said at least four entities have expressed interest in utilising the BEDC’s recently-added ability to play a part in the incorporation of entities.
Mr Burt added: “The Government also desires to create an environment where entrepreneurs can benefit from economies of scale through the creation of shared assets and infrastructure.
“The ability for BEDC to create subsidiary companies based on a public-private partnership model will progress this concept of shared assets for entrepreneurs.
“The BEDC is currently seeing the beginnings of this concept with the BEDC’s incubators — shared spaces, shared resources and shared support.”
He said the Enterprise Bermuda Incubator has resulted in four new businesses with 11 jobs created, and the BEDC is planning to roll out incubators in all three of the island’s economic empowerment zones next year.
And Mr Burt said eight start ups took advantage of payroll tax relief for new businesses in 2018, which have created 19 new jobs.
This year seven businesses with 14 new jobs have been approved for the payroll relief, and another four applications are being processed.
Mr Burt added the BEDC’s youth entrepreneurship efforts have also yielded success and the quango has met with several of Bermuda’s sports clubs to develop a new sports club micro loan.
BEDC also met with some of Bermuda’s lodges, friendly societies and mutual aid societies to help encourage the formation of co-operatives.
He said: “The BEDC has commenced a public co-operative development education campaign aligned with international partners aimed at informing the public about what co-operatives are, highlighting Bermuda’s long co-operative history, outlining the benefits in forming co-operatives in the 21st century and explaining how persons can form co-operatives.
“This education campaign has begun to cement the principles and values of co-operatives in our culture, mapping a solid way forward and a clear pathway for Bermudians to build wealth for themselves, their communities, and their country.
“The BEDC has now conducted seven workshops and learning sessions providing over 300 people with information and access to resources on developing co-operatives.”
• To read David Burt’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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