President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told the nation that the Small Business Empowerment Act (SBE) is now taking effect in the country.
Delivering her state of the nation address on Monday on Capitol Hill, Madam Sirleaf said the Act, which was launched last year, requires all government entities to spend a minimum of 25 percent of their procurement budget on goods, services and works from Liberian owned businesses, five percent of which must be directed to Liberian women owned businesses.
Based on the current budget, she assured that a total of U$70 million could be injected into the Liberian economy through Liberian-owned businesses to ensure that they are properly funded and capacitated.
President Sirleaf said already 104 of 6000 Liberian businesses have registered free of charge and are in compliance with the process established by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).
“We urged all Liberian owned-businesses, including the media and law firms to register and take advantage of the 25 percent preference which will help the country achieve this objective, noting that, it is important that all three branches of government make maximum effort to ensure full implementation of the law which benefits our people,” she said.
She however used the occasion to recognize two dynamic entrepreneurs, one in the agriculture sector – Mr. Mahmud Johnson of J-Palm Liberia, who processes palm kernel for oil; and Mr. Alex Garley of Garreston Steel, a manufacturer of nails.
Several small-scale and medium scale operations from copybooks manufacturing, printing, rubber wood and meat processing, and hospitality have potential to grow in size.