From the news desk

Red tape hinders small business owners

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Many small businesses owners are unaware that assistance is at hand if they are faced with challenges, while trying to get their businesses off the ground. If the help was readily available, then many small business owners would not be afraid to take the leap and would want to grow their business.

Most small businesses need guidance and advice on simple issues such as where to go when you are facing issues of financing. Small business owner Aliwia Jattiem who specialises in ladieswear said her business “Oranges and Lemon” has the potential to grow but that capital for her to grow is limited.

“Especially since banking finance is one of the biggest obstacles facing a small business,” said Jattiem.

Amina, the co-owner of Frunutti, a dry fruit and nut business, said that her main problem is getting her supplier to supply her on time and on a regular basis. Often times her customers need the product and she is afraid that she may lose her regular clientele.

“If there is any way in which to ensure that those who supply me do so on time all the time, then we would be able to build better relationships with clients and this would enhance business,” she said.

However, like many other small and growing business owners, she is unsure of whom to approach on these issues that are affecting the effective growth and sustainability of their business.

According to MEC for Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, the red tape reduction unit (that has been running since 2011) was designed to assist any business in overcoming certain red tape issues that may be affecting the development of or the production of a business.  MEC Winde advised all small businesses to get the help they need in developing their business by making contact with the unit.

“We have dealt with more than 2000 cases and through the initiative creating an environment that is easy for business and we have in excess of an 80% success rate,” added Winde.
Businesses can approach the unit with issues such as finalization of a tender

process, or with an application to government with a licence or some kind of regulatory environment with government.

“It could be an import or export issue or it could be a visa issue or any form of governed regulation and that is what we are trying to achieve but we are also trying to understand the regulatory environment and if it is creating blockages, how do we change those laws in order to bring an ease to the business environment,” added Winde.

Winde said that his main challenge is to prevent the red tape unit from becoming red tape.

“We need to assist in making the process easier and to not cause more of an obstacle to run a business,” said Winde.
Another anonymous business owner said some issues are not considered

red tape as often times there are little to no chance of getting any tenders at all.

But Winde advises that the unit will assist in any matter if possible using email, which is the best means of communication as it can be better tracked this way.

Anyone who needs assistance can email the unit on: and the matter will be addressed as best possible. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)


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