CLIMB


1. Q. What is the OPSR?

Answer

The Office of Private Sector Relations is a unit within the Government of Saint. Lucia, geared toward fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors. OPSR was established in 1998 to stimulate and accelerate activity within the private sector of Saint Lucia, by providing support to that sector.


2. Q. What are the roles of the OPSR?

Answer

The role of the OPSR falls under four broad categories:
• To implement the Government of Saint Lucia’s Private sector Development Programme (PSDP)
• To strengthen government’s relationship with the private sector by facilitating communication and cooperation between the public and the private sectors
• To assist the private sector in becoming more productive and competitive both regionally and internationally. This will ultimately lead to improved prospects for investment and growth in the medium term.
• To assist the private sector in accessing business related fiscal incentives and trade concessions that have been made available by the government to stimulate business investment and growth.


3. Q. What is the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP)?

Answer

The PSDP is the combination of policy initiatives, fiscal incentives, project interventions,
and technical assistance. This was formulated by the government to help stimulate and accelerate the growth and development of the private sector.


4. Q. In what areas does the OPSR render assistance to private businesses under the PSDP?

Answer

The OPSR provides technical assistance in the following areas:
• product and market development
• product and market diversification
• market research
• human resource development and management
• systems development (with the use of information technology)
• international standards development and compliance
• management and organization


5. Q. What are the different kinds of assistance available?

Answer

Assistance is provided at both firm and sector levels. At the firm level, businesses receive direct assistance for their individual needs while at sector levels, interventions are executed in order to enhance the general business environment. Direct Support to Firms

1. Direct Support to Firms
a) Business Upgrading Programme Cycle (BUPC): This is a three-staged process.
Stage 1 – Diagnostic study
Stage 2 – Design of business plan
Stage 3 – Implementation of business plan

b) SME – Cluster; Cluster linked Incubator Model for Business (CLIMB)
Under this method of assistance, firms in designated geographic areas will be combined
in groups or “custers” to receive technical and professional assistance from the OPSR

c) Benchmarking - assistance will be provided to encourage and support firms to utilize benchmarking as a tool for business improvement.


2. Enhancement of the National Business Environment
a) Assistance to business associations
i. Capacity building/strengthening
ii. Improved services to members

b) Assistance to the public sector
i. Legislative improvements
ii. Policy formulation
iii. Research


6. Q. Does the OPSR give money directly to beneficiaries?

Answer

The programme does not allow OPSR to give money directly to beneficiaries. All assistance is delivered mainly by professional consultants and there are no direct cash transfers to the beneficiaries


7. Q. Which companies are eligible for OPSR assistance?

Answer

In general companies that registered or incorporated and have been in operation for at
least one year may apply. The OPSR will advise regarding which component of the PSDP is most relevant to the applicant’s needs


8. Q. How long does it take to get assistance from the OPSR?

Answer

The OPSR endeavours to handle applications in an expeditious manner. However implementation times differ based on the level of expenditure and the approvals required


9. Q. Does a company have to go through all the stages?

Answer

No: An enterprise may enter the BUPC at any stage as long as the requirements of the previous stage(s) have been met.


10. Q. Who is the NAO?

Answer

The National Authorizing Officer is responsible for the preparation and submission of projects/ programmes and examination and completion of tenders for approval by the head of the EU delegation. The NAO is also responsible for coordination, monitoring and assessment of projects and programmes funded through the European Development Fund and ensuring the proper execution of projects, programmes and disbursements of funding in the country.


11. Q. Can the OPSR help me purchase a new building, a new car, equipment, furniture etc?

Answer

No, the programme does not permit the purchase of major capital equipment or buildings.


12. Q. Are there limits as to how much I can get from the OPSR and how often can I source such assistance?

Answer

There is a limit to the amount of money which may be received from the OPSR. No more than EC$125, 000, which represents no more than 75% of the total cost of the project implementation budget, can be spent on any one company.


13. Q. Can the OPSR assist me in getting a loan from the bank for my business?

Answer

The OPSR does not operate in such a capacity.

 

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