Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 17, 2020 (SKNIS): 658 business licenses were approved in January 2019 to December 2019 making it the largest number of business licenses issued in any year in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis, says Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during his monthly press conference on January 15.
“Of course I need not remind you that these are not just numbers, these are men and women who have expressed their confidence in the right direction our federation is heading and want to be an active part of building that stronger future,” he said.
The prime minister stated that these individuals come from all walks of life and all geographical areas of our country. He added that people are confident in the health of the economy and “we encourage this upsurge in entrepreneurship.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that more businesses mean more jobs, higher wages and more opportunities for young people, their parents, guardians and loved ones.
“It is a welcomed development and one that we are keen to encourage,” he said.
To ensure the further growth of entrepreneurship in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Commerce is strengthening operations at the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC).
So far, 1,300 persons have benefited from general technical assistance provided by the SBDC, which covers areas such as business plan development, business training, assistance with import duty concession applications, and general business counselling.
Also, since September 2015, the Government of National Unity has helped hundreds of businesses to start or expand their businesses by enabling access to concessionary funding, as well as technical assistance. The Fresh Start Loan Programme implemented through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis was a key element of this strategy as it provided support for Micro, Small, and Medium–Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).