… says Govt looking at injecting local fundsGovernment is reviewing the operations of the Small Business Bureau (SBB) with the aim of simplifying the process in order to enable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to access money.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonThere are also plans to provide local funding for the bureau.Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who made this disclosure during a visit to the community of Wales last Friday, explained that President David Granger called a high level meeting on Friday with the relevant Ministers present, and the bureau was among the issues that were examined.“The President called a meeting with some Ministers, including the Minister of Business (Dominic Gaskin), to examine ways in which we can provide financing. And we were looking at the Small Business Bureau (with a view to) change the way in which it is structured.“The funds of the Small Business Bureau are funds from the Norwegians. So then, for you to get that money, you have to go through (a process) a training programme; and then when you’re finished, you have to satisfy the requirements of the bank.”Minister of Business,Dominic GaskinHarmon revealed there are plans to review that arrangement, and for Government to inject some additional local funds into the programme. He said this would benefit small scale farmers and other startup businesses.“Minister Gaskin has been asked to look at that. Review it so that we can put some additional local funds into it, to make it easier for our farmers and individual business people to have access to small sums of money… maybe one, two or five million to kick you off,” Harmon said.“Apart from that, the Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan) would have announced in the budget that there is something for small businesses and starting up businesses – some $50million for youth entrepreneurship,” Harmon disclosed.Minister Jordan had in fact stated during his 2017 budget speech that the SBB would be extending its operations into educational institutes – to train students in entrepreneurship. He had also mentioned a competitive system being set up to have 10 students receive grants to start their own businesses.Besides that, Jordan had stated that the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED) would continue its role in financing and training SMEs. He had also spoken of the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) programme.According to Harmon, Government is looking at the most effective ways to get any allocations in the budget to the communities for entrepreneurship.“I want to give you the assurance that at the level of the central government, it is attracting the attention of the Government and the President is concerned about this matter. And we are putting things in place so that the people can access these funds and create employment for themselves,” Harmon explained.The Small Business Bureau (SBB) is a semi-autonomous Government agency which was created to complement the Small Business Act No. 2 of 2004. It coordinates programmes for small business development, in addition to facilitating training for aspiring entrepreneurs.But there are issues about how effective the SBB really is. According to one Wales resident, he was sent by the bureau to a local bank in order to get a loan, only to ultimately be denied.Following the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) Annual General Meeting (AGM), outgoing President Vishnu Doerga had expressed worry about allocations to SMEs. According to Doerga, there is also need for legislation to be created, where absent; or amended where present, in order to improve opportunities for investment.Last year, Guyana was ranked at 124 out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. Jamaica, at 67, was the highest ranked Caribbean country. Economies were ranked based on their regulatory environments.
The judge said Brown’s comments brought balance to an emotional case related to a gang accused in the slaying of Burbank police Officer Matthew Pavelka. “I find the comments very offensive and upsetting,” said Burbank police Detective Michael Pavelka, Matthew Pavelka’s father. “In light of what happened, I can’t conceive how Mr. Brown could say anything positive on behalf of Mr. Schaffer. It’s something I live with every day – the loss of my son.” The rookie officer was killed in a 2003 shootout with suspected Vineland Boys members. Brown, a 41-year veteran of the department who was appointed in 2001 to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board, said he returned a phone call from a probation officer regarding Schaffer’s sentencing. In a March 2 letter to the council, he said he didn’t ask for leniency for Schaffer, but rather answered questions about how he knew Schaffer and for how long, including his past involvement in local charities. “I told what I knew of him,” wrote Brown, whose term will expire in June. “I told the truth.” Ramos said that, as a public figure, Brown should have watched his words more carefully. “I know, as appointed or elected officials, all of our words, private and personal, are subject to scrutiny,” she said. Still, Councilmen Jef Vander Borght and David Golonski said Brown shouldn’t be dismissed for voicing an opinion that might be unpopular. “I think he said what he believed was truthful, and has a right to do that, no matter how much we don’t like it,” Golonski said. Brown knew Schaffer, a Glendale businessman who served on the Glendale Water and Power Commission, for at least five years. He had ties with former Burbank Councilwoman Stacey Murphy, Schaffer’s then-girlfriend, who was convicted in the Vineland Boys probe on drug and child-endangerment charges. email@example.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – Bob Hope Airport Commissioner Don Brown has won a reprieve from potential dismissal after speaking on behalf of a friend convicted in the Vineland Boys probe. Brown, a retired Burbank Police Department lieutenant, made comments to a probation officer that helped secure a reduced sentence for Scott Schaffer, a former City Hall insider convicted of trading guns for cocaine with members of the Sun Valley-based gang. The police rank and file and City Councilwoman Marsha Ramos have pressed for Brown’s removal for weeks, but after testimony Tuesday night from both critics and supporters, several council members declined calls for a formal dismissal hearing. Instead, the panel ordered the city attorney to try to obtain Schaffer’s pre-sentencing report, which is under seal. Mayor Todd Campbell said he had hoped to question Brown, who did not appear at Tuesday’s meeting. “I would like to have a hearing that actually gets to the bottom of this,” he said. But Lt. Pat Lynch of the Burbank Police Officers Association said he was disappointed by the decision. While the pre-sentencing report may end speculation over what Brown actually said, it won’t change Schaffer’s sentence, and it leaves the commissioner overseeing an airport near Vineland Boys territory. Schaffer, 53, was sentenced Feb. 12 to 13 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2005 to a charge of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime. Prosecutors had sought a 21-month sentence. Calls for Brown’s ouster came after U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter said he gave Schaffer a lighter sentence in part because of a “glowing recommendation” from the airport commissioner.