The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has called on Liberian Owned small and medium sized businesses to register with the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) and Small Business Administration to benefit from the 25% procurement set-aside in the small business empowerment act.
The Small Business Empowerment Act, passed into law on December 22, 2014, requires that 25% of all goods and services procured by government be from Liberian-Owned small businesses.
Making the disclosure Thursday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Axel Addy, encouraged Liberians to take advantage of the opportunities and help in providing services to the Liberian government.
“All government institutions are required by law to submit their small business administration procurement plan and also register with SBA so that their SBA plans can be shared with the public,” Minister Addy disclosed.
Minister Addy explained further that all Liberian-owned micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) remain the main targeted beneficiaries of the opportunities provided and hope that Liberians will see this as a way of improving and growing from one level to another.
He stressed that, “To be considered a Liberian-Owned MSMEs, more than 50% of the securities equity and or ownership interest must belong to Liberians and they must be the primary signatories to the official documents and bank account(s) of the business.”
The Commerce Minister explained that registering with the Small Business Administration will ensure that all Liberian-Owned small businesses benefit from opportunities provided by the SBA law, including the 25% procurement “set aside” and help get adequate access to capital at relatively low interest rates.
He added that the SBA will help MSMEs to “get local and international market exposure, provide business linkages, and build their capacity, access to finance, among others, thereby helping them to grow and expand. It will also help and support small businesses move from the informal to the formal sector of the economy.”
Minister Addy said Small Business Administration is working along with the PPCC and other government ministries and agencies to ensure the implementation of the 25% procurement law for Liberian-Owned businesses, adding that SBA is required to monitor the implementation of the 25% procurement law by government ministries and agencies and provide a semi-annual performance report to the President and Legislature.
“The SBA will provide information on government procurement budget,” he added, “and provide support to help small businesses compete for government contracts. The information will be available every fiscal year immediately after the passage of the budget on the SBA website and other SBA publications.”