PM Harris: ‘Fresh Start’ Will Be Expanded To Further Empower Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during WINN FM 98.9’s Voices radio program today, Wednesday, September 7th, reflected on the significance of the Fresh Start program in terms of its making financing available to micro, small and medium-sized businesses in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Prime Minister Harris told radio host Mr. Newrish Nital that, “We have determined that this program has to continue because there were a large number of requests for that support…in other words, the demand for the Fresh Start initiative surpassed our wildest imagination and dreams.”

Dr. Harris continued: “At this time, as we speak, we are mobilizing additional resources. We are looking perhaps at another $30 million [ECD] between now and next year to be injected into the Fresh Start program.” The Prime Minister added, “Of course, it will be in a phased way [disbursed in tranches].”

The Team Unity administration launched the Fresh Start program in September 2015. Under this program, which is administered by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, US$6 million (roughly EC$16 million) was made available to disburse concessionary loans (5% interest rate) to successful applicants who have a micro, small or medium-sized business. The business can be a start-up (a new business) or one that has been in existence for some time. The maximum loan amount that can be disbursed to a business under Fresh Start is EC$270,000.00.

Two hundred and five (205) applicants have already been successful in attaining attractive financing and technical assistance for their businesses under Fresh Start. These businesses involve trucking, taxi and omnibus operation, cosmetology, broiler chicken farming and layer bird production, pig farming, catering, e-commerce, light manufacturing, agriculture, agro-processing, arts and crafts, music, and videography.

On Friday, May 27th, at the Development Bank’s third-ever Business Fair in the Independence Square, several of the Fresh Start businesses displayed their products, namely: Tyrilda Clarke, who owns Tyrilda’s Hair Salon located in the Amory Mall; Joan Hamilton of Tabernacle, who manufactures shoes and sandals; Peggy James, who owns Kidz Closet located upstairs Ashburry’s Duty Free; Asha Julius of LaGuerite, Basseterre, who owns a kids’ party entertainment business; Troy Prince of Upper Cayon, a carpenter who makes bedroom furniture; Cheryl Richardson of Pond’s Extension, who provides printing, laminating and binding services; Petrina Warner of Five Ways, McKnight, who provides tailoring services, and Serena Weekes of Pond’s Extension, who provides cosmetology services.

Classifications of Micro, Small, Medium Size Enterprises (Source: the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis)

Micro Size Enterprises:

Employment: up to 4 persons

Capital Investment: up to USD 25,000.00

Sales (annually): up to USD 100,000.00

Small Size Enterprises:

Employment: 5 to 25 persons

Capital Investment: USD 25,001.00 to USD 250,000.00

Sales (annually): USD 100,001.00 to USD 500,000.00

Medium Size Enterprises:

Employment: 25 to 75 persons

Capital Investment: USD250,001.00 to USD 500,000.00

Sales (annually): USD 500,001.00 to USD 999,999.00

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