General Manager of Golden Touch Spa Barbados, Tiffanie Nurse, is singing the praises of Government’s Trust Loan Fund, which she said provided quick capital for the procurement of equipment and stock to keep her operations on the cutting edge.
She commended officials from the Fund during a visit to the spa by Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, last Friday.
Ms. Nurse, who received three loan disbursements so far, said acquiring machinery was an expensive undertaking, and with the loans she was able to make part payments on much needed equipment and acquire stock.
“The Trust Loan has helped because I was able to access quick funding for the things that I wanted. For example, acquiring the body contouring machine. The money that I had gotten from them [Trust Loan Fund], I was able to invest in a part payment for that. The machinery was relatively expensive, so I don’t want to take a whole set of money from cash flow to purchase a machine so that [loan] helped in some parts,” she underlined.
The spa, has been in operation for 10 years – nine years at Golden Sands Hotel, before moving to the present location a year ago at “Meadway House” Maxwell Hill, Christ Church, which offers a range of beauty and therapeutic services.
Ms. Nurse said the past 10 years has been challenging. “The banks always say to entrepreneurs; oh we want to help you but then when you go in you never have enough. Whatever you do, you do not ever meet the criteria. You start business underfunded, which means that a lot of the things that you would like to implement, you cannot. A lot of things that you want to do, you cannot so you have to get creative and try to do things out of the box,” she stated.
During the downtime as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Nurse said she and her team took the time to upgrade their skills.
“We have a very large team and we would have taken that time to do online training; communicate with each other and work on our weak areas to improve on the quality of our service and our service menu on the whole, and that’s why we were able to offer new services,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister Sutherland applauded the young entrepreneur for receiving three tranches of the loan, stating that this was testament of her excellent repayment record.
“I want to urge those small businesses again to utilise the Trust Loan to build your brand; build your businesses with the view to taking those services abroad. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, I recognised that Golden Touch Spa used the opportunity to invest in technology to enhance their services and that is the way businesses must operate in this age.”
So far, the Trust Loan Fund has disbursed $13.5 million to 2,958 businesses.