Charlestown, Nevis, October 17, 2017 (DBSKN) — It took the combined efforts and goodwill of a loving grandmother and a bank that truly makes a sustained positive difference in people’s lives, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN), to propel a hard working young Nevisian from being an employee to an employer in the short period of one and a half years.
After graduating from the Gingerland Secondary School, the now 26-year-old Mr George Chapman did not waste his time looking for white collar jobs which everyone knows are hard to come by. He instead opted to work for a ready-mix construction material company and within a short time he was their truck driver.
“I decided to venture out on my own because when the company I was working for closed down, I was still getting opportunities like jobs and my boss used to give me his truck to use,” said Mr Chapman. “But the truck broke down and I decided I wanted to have my own.”
He did not have the money to buy the truck, but his grandmother Mrs Verna Roberts of Newcastle, St. James, Nevis, encouraged him to go to banks as they would be in a position to give him a loan for him to buy the truck he needed. Grandmother was not happy seeing him without a job yet she knew that he was a hard working grandson.
“I went to one of the commercial banks in Nevis and I explained to them that I needed to buy a truck and exactly what I needed from them in terms of a loan, and they said they will look into my application,” said Mr Chapman. “They never called me.”
Mr Chapman is not one to give up easily. He was told that the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, which has a branch in Charlestown, had been offering loans at concessionary rates to new and existing small-to-medium scale businesses. He decided to try them.
“When I went to the Development Bank Ms (Hyacinth) Pemberton (the branch manager) said she would work with me to get through with the loan process,” said Mr Chapman. “She helped me by ensuring that I got a Fresh Start Programme loan where I did not have to put down any deposit and the interest rates were much lower. They were very good to me – they were excellent.”
With the truck that he bought, he started providing service to the building and construction industry delivering stones and sand, and when he would get a job on a worksite, he would move stones, sand and top soil. He was the sole employee of his company at that time.
He named his new company Grandson’s Trucking Services.
“I went for that name because my grandmother, Mrs Verna Roberts of Newcastle, pushed me,” said Mr Chapman. “She did an excellent job. I honoured her by calling my company Grandson’s Trucking Services.”
He used the first truck for one year before he decided to expand the business by adding another truck and a backhoe. He went back to the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, and based on his established relations with them, the bank was more than happy to assist him.
“Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis prides itself as the bank that makes a sustained positive difference in people’s lives and Mr George Chapman came to us as someone who not only had an idea, but was already in the business although the truck he was using was not his,” said the Nevis Branch Manager of the Development Bank, Ms Hyacinth Pemberton.
The bank manager added: “It was a pleasant task for us at Development Bank to assist the young entrepreneur to get on his feet in a field that he knew very well. He established his business, and when he came back for the second loan we took into consideration the fact that he would be employing people to operate the new equipment and creation of jobs is one area the Development Bank places a great emphasis on.”
The owner of Grandson’s Trucking Services is appreciative of the special way the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis treats its clients.
“When I went back to get another loan, the process took just one week and I was very thankful for that,” said Mr Chapman. “They did an excellent job. Would I go back to Development Bank? Yes! I need a next truck and I will certainly go back there. I need to have another person in employment.”
The Nevisian entrepreneur explained: “When I had the first truck I was the only one in my employment as I was the one driving the truck. With two trucks and a backhoe, I have two people in my employment. One drives the truck and the other drives the backhoe. I have taken two people out of unemployment to employment, and they are appreciating it.”