SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES TO RECEIVE FRESH START FUNDS COME NEXT MONTH DUE TO PROGRAMME’S EXPANSION

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, AUGUST 19TH, 2016 (PRESS SEC) – Concessionary loans and technical assistance from the Development Bank will be within reach for scores of the nation’s business owners come next month.  EC$25 million will be invested further into the Fresh Start Programme in a phased basis, starting with a tranche in September.

Under the Fresh Start Programme, which the Team Unity Government launched last September, 205 applicants have already been successful in attaining attractive financing for their small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

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, 2016, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris highlighted the successes ofFresh Start before declaring the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis’ third-ever Business Fair officially open at the Independence Square.

Prime Minister Harris said that, “Persons, who have benefitted [from the Fresh Start Programme], I am advised, range in age from 25 to 45.  The age range, of course, covers the peak childbearing age and the peak employment age, allowing families in St. Kitts and Nevis then to have a viable opportunity to achieve financial stability and social mobility and to raise children with all the advantages that can be provided.”

The Prime Minister added that Fresh Start builds upon the meaningful work of “the people’s bank,” which opened its doors to the public on May 22nd, 1981 after being incorporated under the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis Act of that year.

This year’s fair, which formed part of the activities to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Development Bank, featured the products of 30 of the bank’s business clients.  Eight out of the 30 have received help under Fresh Start, 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.

(Press release courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary)

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