Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman (FP)??

The Ministry of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development will continue to provide the necessary support to local artisans.

This assurance came from Minister Denis Kellman, while addressing an anniversary luncheon for the Craft Union of Barbados, at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, recently.

Minister Kellman affirmed that the level of assistance which was offered through the National Enterprise Grant Programme, FundAccess, and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, would continue, and could possibly increase. ??

"…We are intent on taking the process further as we are currently exploring the establishment of a permanent showroom where craft persons can display their ware and take orders," the Minister said.

He deemed the production of craft as "a significant sub sector within the small business sector of Barbados", and advised the artisans to "begin to understand, that as you design and bring your piece of craft to life, you are extending the life of your country whether by generating employment, economic activity or foreign exchange".

"The craft you produce goes beyond a representation of yourself and maybe even your professional pride; your craft is a representation of your country," he added.

??Some examples of local craft

Minister Kellman noted that the souvenirs which are purchased by tourists consist of mainly local craft pieces. "It is that ???piece of the rock’ that accompanies them back to their countries and their homes. Embedded in that piece of craft are the memories of their vacation or even business trip, and the memory of a unique experience they shared.?? It is that ???piece’ of Barbados that continues to speak to them even if he or she never visits Barbados again," he pointed out.

The Minister also commended the craft entrepreneurs for working together as a group. "I note that part of your mission is to pool your resources to benefit each other and the industry itself.?? This is laudable… The emphasis on unity and the pooling of resources for mutual benefits allows for the building of the platform on which the concept of clustering will be launched.?? Bulk purchasing of materials and equipment or even the communal use of factory space can positively impact economies of scale and improve your bottom lines," he stated.??


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