William Challenger greets Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.
William Challenger greets Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris.

St. Kitts-Nevis government commended for creating ‘level-playing field’ for small businesses

From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Team Unity-led administration of St. Kitts and Nevis recently came in for high praises for ensuring that small- and medium-sized businesses in the federation are treated fairly and given every opportunity to compete for government contracts on a level playing field.

This sentiment was expressed by William Challenger, proprietor of William & Son, during a recent interview with the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister.

William & Son was the successful contractor awarded the contract to construct the new health centre in Tabernacle following a competitive and transparent bidding process that saw a total of four bids submitted.

Challenger, a resident of Tabernacle village, said he is truly thankful for the opportunity presented to him, noting that this represents a major change in how government contracts are awarded now when compared to the previous administration. “I feel real good because before this, you would only hear about those big guys in the contractor business and you wouldn’t hear anything about the small contractors,” he said. “It was like they [small contractors] were not on the scene, but they are there. It was just a matter of us not being recognized before now.”

He went on to praise the efforts of the the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris-led Team Unity government, noting that “they have done well for small businesses because if you look at us, we are in the forefront and are being recognized now as a contractor,” Challenger said. “People now see who we are and now say ‘William Challenger & Son, these are the contractors who did the health centre in Tabernacle.’”

Prime Minister Harris, during his remarks at last Thursday’s ground-blessing ceremony for the new health centre, strongly urged the proprietor of William & Son to use this project as a stepping stone toward the creation of a legacy that can generate even greater opportunities in the future.

“This project will cost us over $2 million,” said Harris, who is the parliamentary representative for Constituency #7, which spans from Belle Vue to Ottley’s village. “This, in my view, will be the single largest contract that William has received to date. Make this your best job, for this will showcase your quality and your ability to the rest of the world, and no one must be able to find fault with it and fault with you.”

Challenger said it is their intention to contract other small- and medium-sized enterprises to carry out various operations on the project, particularly as it relates to electrical wiring, plumbing services and steel work.

Deo Challenger, son of William Challenger, said it would be “truly satisfying” to walk by on a regular basis and see the final output of this significant project in their hometown of Tabernacle.