Posted: Friday, August 5, 2022. 4:41 pm CST.
Photo Credit: Office of the Prime Minister
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: As the Office of the Prime Minister launched the MSME Roadshow on Thursday, an announcement was made that MSMEs will now be exempted from paying Business Tax and GST for the first 4 years.
According to Valentino Shal, CEO in the Ministry of Rural Transformation, any qualified Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprise (MSME) will now be able to apply for $1 million in duty exemptions.
“MSMEs are economic engines fueling diversification, job creation and growth. Our entrepreneurial spirit is vibrant, and my Administration is committed to support the continued development of MSMEs in Belize,” said Prime Minister John Briceño at the launch of the National MSME Roadshow which he is promoting in support of the MSME sector.
“We are proud to launch today the MSME Roadshow and invite you to join us when the roadshow visits your area. Take note of the schedule and support buying and developing Belize.”
Prior to today’s launch the Prime Minister said MSMEs account for about 70% of all businesses established in Belize but only 50% of all employment.
“The important thing is that by March 2025, 20% of all government supplies contracts will be awarded to MSMEs,” said the Prime Minister, mentioning that on Tuesday Cabinet approved the adoption of that policy.
“The National MSME Road Show 2022 is a country-wide campaign geared towards supporting the MSME sector and identifying MSMEs interested in being featured in the Belize National MSME Directory,” says the Roadshow registration page.
The first-of-its-kind, National MSME Roadshow was launched today by the Economic Development Council (EDC), through its technical secretariat, the Public-Private Desk in the Office of the Prime Minister.
“The National MSME Roadshow underscores the significant contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises to Belize’s economy as well as acknowledges the challenges faced by MSMEs” said a press release by the Government of Belize Press Office.
“The roadshow has the overall objective of providing developmental support services to the MSME sector while raising public awareness of Belizean goods and services.
“The approval by Cabinet of a Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Policy and Strategy 2022-2025, this week, adds emphasis to the importance of the National MSME Roadshow and its alignment with the Plan Belize mandate of supporting small business growth,”
The launch featured an Access to Finance panel discussion with representatives from the Development Finance Corporation, Central Bank of Belize, the Belize Credit Union League, the National Bank of Belize as well as remarks by the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and a keynote address by Prime Minister Briceño.
The GOB Press Office press release said the EDC together with BELTRAIDE and the Investment Policy and Compliance Unit, collaborated to put together the MSME Roadshow with the vital support of strategic partners, including UNDP and the Mayors Association of Belize.
The show will go through Corozal, Orange Walk in August, Belize City, Punta Gorda, Caye Caulker, and Belmopan in September, San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Dangriga, Placencia, and San Pedro in October, and will close in November in Belize City.
“Opportunity for You!! Join me … join us on the MSME Roadshow. Sign up now … let’s get you more attention for your business,” said Prime Minister Briceño in a social media post.
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