Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett (FP)??

Efforts by the St. Peter Constituency Council to promote the interests of its constituents have been praised. The accolades have come from Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, as he addressed a Health Fair and Market Day which was hosted by the Council last Saturday.

Minister Blackett, who is also responsible for Constituency Empowerment, stated that the Constituency Councils were not only focused on the existing environment but were also looking towards the future as they sought to assist in Barbados’ development.

Highlighting the event’s aim to promote healthy lifestyles, the Minister pointed out that the practice of a healthy lifestyle by an individual when replicated across various communities would result in a healthier nation as a whole.?? "It is generally accepted that there is a link between the body in a healthy state and having an active mind," he said.

He noted that practising a healthy lifestyle could also reduce the incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases, which would ensure less funds being spent on illness such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. These savings, he added, "could be channelled into other areas that can spur further national development."

Mr. Blackett also commended the St. Peter Council for encouraging the development of entrepreneurship, adding that Government would continue to provide support for Barbadians to become successful business persons.

??In his address, Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, also reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the development of business enterprises.

"One of our mandates at the Ministry is to encourage the culture of entrepreneurship and create an enabling environment for the development of small business enterprises.?? This special focus on entrepreneurship and small business development is not only timely but necessary, since it is the small business sector that is currently driving the Barbadian economy as far as job creation is concerned," he noted.

He stated that since 2008, some 443 jobs were created through the establishment of businesses which received assistance from FundAccess, while 792 jobs were created through the National Micro Enterprise Programme. He, however, pointed out that these figures did not account for jobs created through businesses which were financed by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, the Enterprise Growth Fund, or those which were self-funded.

The Small Business Minister assured the entrepreneurs who participated in the Market Day, that his Ministry, and the agencies under its aegis, stood ready to assist prospective entrepreneurs wherever possible. He urged small business persons to seek information about the Ministry’s services and programmes, which may be useful in the growth of their business.


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