|??Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, addressing the audience at the Rising from the Ashes II event.
There is much scope for the development of Temple Yard.
This was asserted by Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, last Saturday evening, as he addressed members of the Rastafarian community who had gathered for Rising from the Ashes II.
The event was held to aid vendors who were affected by the fire at Temple Yard last April. In his remarks, Mr. Kellman, noted that the resilience of the community in the face of this, and previous challenges, was to be admired and mirrored by Barbadians.
"The government of Barbados is quite happy to work with you. We are willing to ensure that you see this location [Temple Yard] as your production plant," the Minister said, adding that the mastery of mahogany and other local products demonstrated the dedication of the Rastafarian Community to their craft.??
Mr. Kellman also observed that considering the potential of those at Temple Yard, "this location cannot be big enough for what you can do", and "suitable markets would have to be found for [your] products". He added that the talent of the artisans there could serve, not only Barbados’ local and tourist markets, but external ones as well.
The Small Business Minister highlighted existing government programmes which could assist the Rastafarian community in business development, such as the National Enterprise Programme, which began in 2008. He revealed that 118 businesses had benefitted from $624,715 in grants during the period 2009/2010, while between April 2010 and June 2011, 171 micro businesses had received $588,029.??
During the ceremony, Ireka Jelani, and the Foundation of Rastafari Ready and Willing to Dominate (F.O.R.W.A.R.D.), were commended for staging the fundraising event, the second such activity hosted to support the affected members of that community.??