Explore Potential to Improve Government Support to New Businesses

Project Updates as at 31 May 2017

Status: Project Execution

  • New partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, Cayman Islands Small Business Association and UCCI have resulted in the delivery of a variety of workshops and other support for micro and small businesses.
  • The Ministry is continuing to work on developing an action plan designed to facilitate the long term sustainability and viability of small businesses in the Cayman Islands.
  • The development of the action plan has encountered some significant challenges. The initial plan to gather information by participating in a “SME Survey & Needs Assessment and a Comparative Analysis” did not deliver the anticipated results. As an alternative, the Chamber of Commerce has hosted focus group sessions, in order to identify the challenges facing small and micro businesses. These focus groups were executed in March – April 2017 and the results are being analysed. The timeline and the approach for completing the action plan will be revisited once the results are analysed.

Next key milestone: Completion of an Action Plan for the establishment of a Small Business Model (estimated timeline: to be determined).

Estimated project completion date: to be determined.

Project Updates as at 30 November, 2016

Status: Project Execution

The first deliverable from the project was a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government, the Chamber of Commerce and the Cayman Islands Small Business Association (CISBA) which was signed in June 2016.  It outlines various responsibilities for all three entities, including public consultations. An independent assessment of small and medium enterprises was conducted and the findings, which were received in October 2016, will guide the development of the next project deliverable, an action plan, to address areas of concern for small business owners. The Ministry expects the plan to be completed by March 2017.

Project Updates as at 25 May, 2016 

Related EY Recommendations:

17.2 – Recapitalize and Commercialize CIDB
OR 17.3 – Abolish CIDB
31 – Abolish National Housing Trust and incorporate functions into CIDB


Minister: Hon. Wayne Paton

Project Sponsor: Mr. Dax Basdeo, Chief Officer

Overview (taken from Cabinet’s Project Future Programme Brief):  This project focuses on government support for small business. Historically this work has been undertaken by CIG but had been discontinued due to resource constraints and a lack of clarity in role as compared to other business support organizations.  This project seeks to develop a better understanding of the needs of small businesses and of the range of help and support already available. It will consider options to make the most effective use of private sector contracts and partnership arrangements to enhance the support provided to small businesses.

Status: A Strategic Assessment is being progressed.   

Ministry/Portfolio Update:

  • The Department of Commerce and Investment’s (DCI) activities used to include support for small business. It was agreed that the Department would not only strengthen its licensing and enforcement functions, but it would take on new regulatory responsibilities. As such, it was decided that the functions relating to support for small businesses should be transferred to the Ministry.
  • The Ministry has awarded a contract to the Chamber of Commerce to provide monthly small business workshops free of charge to small business owners on relevant topics. There has been significant interest in these workshops with on average of 25 to 30 small business owners in attendance.
  • The Ministry has continued to partner with University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) on its Student Consulting Programme which was launched in 2008 by DCI. The programme assists small businesses with free business evaluation and advice, while providing practical experience to senior-business students at UCCI.
  • The Ministry has also partnered with the Small Business Association to host the 2016 Small Business Expo.
  • In progressing this Strategic Assessment, the Ministry has consulted with its key stakeholders, including the Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Association, which has informed the options for consideration in the Strategic Assessment.
  • A draft Strategic Assessment has been submitted and feedback has been provided; the Strategic Assessment is now being finalised for formal submission by 30 June, 2016.