Small Business Crawl: Minister Duggins leads successful island-wide business stops

Manager at the Swing Restaurant and Bar in Cayon, Mr Mervin Lewis (in black tie) pictured with the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship team. Minister, the Hon Samal Duggins, is on his right, and Permanent Secretary Ms Delrine Taylor is on his left.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (MMS-SKN) — Federal Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the Hon Samal Duggins, on Tuesday afternoon August 22 led staff of the Ministry on an island-wide Small Business Crawl, as part of the ministry’s pre-launch activities, where they met and interacted with small business entrepreneurs in all eight constituencies on St. Kitts.

Clockwise from top: Minister and PS with Mr. Elton Dupont (centre); Hon Duggins (right) with Mr. Wendell Nanton, and Ms. Taylor; Businesswoman Ms. Delonne Brotherson, with Hon Duggins, PS Taylor, and Director Mr. Philip Browne; Small Business Crawl in Old Road.

“A lot of times these small businesses would have in the past felt left out and not really a part of a budding community,” said Hon Duggins. “The ministry is now here to make sure that support is directed to the right people in the right ways.”

According to the Honourable Minister, part of the activity was to listen to the small business practitioners “because a lot of time we think we have all the answers or the ideas, but just listening to you learn a lot more from the businesses, of their current struggles and then you could share your offerings to make sure that they adjust to those needs.”

Hon Duggins noted: “I am happy to be the Minister at this time, with the launch of a new Ministry, to say we are directly targeting our small business sector and making sure that our entrepreneurs have the right support.”

Clockwise from top: The team outside RSR Enterprises with owner Mr. Rohand Stevens; Mr. Alexis Browne of Lovers’ Bar with Minister and PS; Mr Geron Romney of Grung Gate Bar and Grill; the team outside Hutchinson Bar, Willett’s Project, with Mr Bevis Hutchinson.

The first stop representing Constituency One was at the Pelican Mall, where they met and held brief talks with Mr. Elton Dupont, owner of SKIN Body Piercing. In Constituency Two they stopped and held talks at Top Class AC & Refrigeration Services on Cayon Street, opposite the Greenland’s Field, with owner Mr Wendell Nanton.

Businesses visited Constituency Three Textured Hair Haven, in the OOJJ’s Commercial Complex, where they listened to suggestions put forward by owner, Ms Delonne Brotherson.

Minister Duggins, who is the Area Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Four, was spoilt for choice on his familiar grounds and as a result, in Old Road, the team visited three businesses. The first one was RSR Enterprises, a supermarket run by Mr Rohand Stevens; Liquor Booth owned by Mr Jason Clarke; and Lovers’ Bar owned by Mr Alexis Browne.

The Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship team at Inner City Tire Services in Molineux. Ms Kymisha Lewis is seen wearing a black top. Others seen immediately are from right, Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore, Mr Philip Dore, and Ms Leah Crag-Chaderton.

Moving over to Constituency Five, they stopped at Grung Gate Bar and Grill in Sandy Point, where they met the owner, Mr. Geron Romney; in Constituency Six, they visited Willett’s Project where they called on Mr. Bevis Hutchinson at his business place, Hutchinson Bar; while in Constituency Number Seven they visited Inner City Tires, a company based in Molineux, where they met and talked with Ms Kymisha Lewis, daughter of the owner, Mr Crace Lewis who was off-island.

The last stop, in Constituency Eight, was at the Swing Restaurant & Bar in Cayon where the Minister and his team met and discussed with the Manager, Mr Mervin Lewis.

“The truth is, when you go on activities like these, you recognise the way small businesses drive our economy,” said the Honourable Minister at the end of the Small Business Crawl. “You look at Inner City Tire Shop (in Molineux), and you recognise a booming business is tucked away in such a community, and what it does for the community that it serves.”

He added: “And even some of the other bars and snackettes you recognise how they really hold up these communities, especially in the rural areas, and our real purpose here is to make sure that they have the support to continue serving the communities that they are in.”

Hon Duggins who is also the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; and Sports and The Creative Economy, accompanied on the island-wide Small Business Crawl by the Permanent Secretary Ms, Delrine Taylor; Director, Mr. Philip Browne; Assistant Secretary, Ms Leah Crag-Chaderton; and Senior Business Advisor from the Small Business Development Centre, Mrs. Kyla Gibson-Dore.

“I believe we have a wonderful team in the Ministry, from the Permanent Secretary, the Director, and the entire staff – I see everyone is here today,” said Hon Duggins, in reference to the Ministry whose motto is ‘Building Businesses, Fuelling Innovation’. “We went right around the island, and I believe the businesses feel empowered. They feel important as they ought to because we are now coming to their territory and making sure that they are heard right at their doorstep.”

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