BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 31, 2023 (MMS-SKN) — At the first in a series of Community Business Meetings organised by the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) St. Kitts, of the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Minister the Hon Samal Duggins advised small business entrepreneurs to register their businesses and to make contributions to the Social Security.
Held on Thursday evening July 27 at the Newtown Community Centre, small business entrepreneurs had gathered to get exposed to best practices to run their businesses. This was done by officials from the Ministry, led by Permanent Secretary Ms Delrine Taylor, officials from the Small Business Development Centre, the Inland Revenue Department, the St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, and the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Last August, we had an idea – an idea to create a ministry dedicated to the development of small businesses,” observed Hon Duggins, who is also the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, and Sports & The Creative Economy.
He pointed out that small businesses were the driving force in the economy, and stated that the driving force of any economy starts with entrepreneurs like themselves and that they should be proud of what they are doing in the area of creatives, entertainers, farmers, fishers and other small scale businesses.
“We have different categories we must adhere to in terms of our commitment to our society, and one of those is that we all try to engage in licensing our businesses,” he advised. “It is critical. Secondly, I want us to recognise that we have a duty to Social Security to ensure that we make contributions.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Delrine Taylor, told the participants that while the Ministry was new, the Small Business Development Centre is not new, as it was formerly a part of the Ministry of Trade, noting that in the past they would have organised some community business meetings.
“However there was a fall in those series of meetings and as a newly formed Ministry, this is our first community business meeting,” said the Permanent Secretary. “We felt it was very important to come back to our stakeholders so that when we are making any decisions at the head table, we have the input of the small businesses, and we are not just making decisions based on our own values. This is being done in order to create an effective and efficient ministry.”
Making presentations were Senior Business Advisor from the Small Business Development Centre, Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore; Assistant Comptroller for Public Relations, at the Inland Revenue Department, Ms Eliza Mills; Manager Public Relations, St. Christopher and Nevis Social Security Board, Ms Kamilah Lawrence; and Manager, Business Relations and Support Unit, Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms Giselle Williams.
There was a question and answer session towards the end of the event, and the same presenters with the exception of the one from the Inland Revenue Department who was replaced by Senior Tax Inspector II, Ms Oleah Prentice, fielded questions from the audience.
The meeting was chaired by Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Leah Crag-Chaderton. Also present was Senior Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Centre, Mr Delwayne Delaney.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Ms Delrine Taylor, with the success of the first Community Business Series, the second one will be held on Thursday August 17 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Cayon Community Centre.
Others will be held on Thursday September 14, at the Old Road Community Centre; Thursday October 19, at the St. Paul’s Community Centre; Thursday November 16 at the Sandy Point Community Centre; and Thursday November 30 at the McKnight Community Centre. All Community Business Series will start at 6:00 p.m. on the allotted days.