BEDC to expand services to EEZs
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation has called on the community to support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises by shopping locally.
The BEDC message came as they announced an expansion to the services provided to businesses in Bermuda’s economic empowerment zones.
It said that micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises played a vital role in stimulating economic growth and providing employment for vulnerable groups in all communities.
The United Nations General Assembly designated yesterday as MSME Day to raise awareness of the many contributions that micro, small and medium enterprises make to economies worldwide.
According to the UN, they account for 90 per cent of businesses, 60 to 70 per cent of employment, and 50 per cent of GDP worldwide.
As the backbone of societies everywhere, they contribute to local and national economies and to sustaining livelihoods among the working poor, women, youth, and groups in vulnerable situations.
The BEDC said: “Bermuda is no exception; thousands of MSMEs support the local economy, so today, their contributions are recognised, highlighting a few of them in our Economic Empowerment Zones.
“The EEZs in North Hamilton, Somerset, and St George’s, were created to help close the inequity gaps in certain designated geographical areas.
“The work that takes place in these areas is focused on striking a balance between the economic environment and the social and physical environments.
“BEDC supports businesses in these areas by offering government concessions, including payroll tax relief, customs duty deferment, and preferential rates and fees for financial products.
“In addition, the BEDC has MSME officers that support businesses in each of the EEZs.
“New Incubator Hubs are being launched in each of the zones this year to provide even more access to assistance.”
Ray Lambert, BEDC director of the micro, small and medium enterprises, said: “It is important for us to recognise the contributions the small businesses make to our local economy.
“MSME Day is just one that has been designated to do this, but we encourage all to celebrate these businesses by patronising these establishments. When we shop locally the entire community benefits.”
He added: “These businesses are at the heart of the community and in most cases embody the culture of Bermuda.”