Government Takes the Lead in Vat Preparation for Small Businesses

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The Government of Saint Lucia announced yesterday that it will make available seven hundred and seventy-eight thousand, eight hundred and seventy dollars and thirty-two cents ($778,870.32) for a Small Business Sector VAT Preparedness Project, to commence in June. This announcement was made by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony while addressing a session of the House of Assembly on Tuesday June 27, 2012.

A number of key stakeholders have partnered to design and develop a programme aimed at providing much needed assistance to the Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise sector in transitioning to the VAT readiness, thus enhancing the successful implementation of the new system of taxation.

The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, in collaboration with the VAT Implementation Unit, the Small Enterprise Development Unit and the Office of Private Sector Relations have forged an alliance to develop this package of assistance to the small business sector in order to ensure that small businesses face minimal difficulties during the implementation period of VAT.

The components of the ten (10) week programme include:

(1)    Provision of VAT ready accounting software to businesses at no charge;

(2)    Provision of training to Business Development Officers of the Ministry of Commerce;

(3)    Provision of training to staff of businesses on the use of accounting software at no charge;

(4)    Provision of technical assistance on software usage to small business after training at no charge.

It is anticipated that approximately one thousand five hundred (1500) participants will benefit from the project which will be made available throughout the island by using venues in Gros-Islet, Castries, Dennery, Vieux-Fort and Soufriere.

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