Minister for Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development, Roselyn Paul has announced that over the last couple of years government has given grant assistance to small manufacturers amounting to $500,000.
Speaking at the Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA) 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Garraway Hotel conference room on Monday, she said also included in that amount was $100,000 to Essential Oils to re-establish distilleries.
“Data shows that the ministry over the last couple of years has given grant assistance to small manufacturers in the amount of $500,000, and with greater acceleration post Tropical Storm Erika and we will all understand why,” she said.
She pointed out that a number of small manufacturers were affected by the storm, “and this year we continue to bring increase in focus and support to this subsector.”
Furthermore, she stated that the government continues to provide grants and that their last disbursement went to 23 agro-processors and manufacturers.
“We provide support in terms of garment manufacturing, agro-processing and many of the clients are involved in virgin coconut oil production, cassava, herbal teas and so on,” Paul revealed.
She said through the rural-based enterprise programme the government works with communities and clients for incubation/clustering of businesses.
She pointed out that the government of Dominica never lose sight of the current contribution and the potential of MSME’s [Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ] to contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment creation.
She mentioned further that national statistics accounts from 2010 to 2014 showed annual increases in the manufacturing sectors contribution to the GDP.
According to her, the sector contributed approximately $31.5-million in 2010 to the GDP, with an increase of $42.4-million in 2014.”
“Unfortunately we all know what happened to Dominica resulting in a retraction in this strength, but we are looking out and hope that there will be increase again in manufacturing,” she said in reference to Erika.
Paul also said through the policies and programmes the government has been ensuring that it enables manufacturing and agro-processing.
“We are the Ministry of Commerce we remain committed to supporting you, we have a very good partnership and it’s growing, and as I said we stand ready and committed to continue to ensure that there is growth in manufacturing, that there is growth in agro-processing,” she noted.