Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, cutting the ribbon to signal the opening of Dollar Smart Discount Store, with owner Apostle Magdalena Griffith. (S. Forde/BGIS)

Small businesses within neighbourhoods should assist in empowering those around them.

This statement was made by Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, today during his remarks to open The Dollar Smart Discount Store, in St. Patrick’s, Christ Church.

Noting that this was his second attendance at an entrepreneurial initiative within six-days, which was spearheaded by a person of faith, Minister Sutherland branded the owners ‘christ-preneurs’. He said their acts demonstrate love in its practical sense by their willingness to give back to their community, a gesture indicative of the main pillar on which the Christian faith is built.

“I, therefore, see this initiative as not merely positioning this store within a given locale to create wealth, but in its widest context; such action must be viewed as repositioning the church and church-related interventions as symbols of hope…

“Thus bearing testimony to the real goal of the church, namely, to engage its many and diverse constituents in leading more productive lives as they pursue an eternal outcome,” Mr. Sutherland stated.

He said such faith-based small businesses must see their remit as becoming ‘economic disruptors’ whose goal is to innovate and think outside the box in transitioning not just their business, but those within the community where their businesses are located.

Mr. Sutherland stressed: “We simply cannot continue doing more of the same and expect meaningful societal change.  Young people must be the catalyst of this radical change and entrepreneurship must be viewed as the vehicle to inspire an innovative departure from the existing unproductive norms that the country now face.”

He also reaffirmed Government’s commitment to assisting entrepreneurs with access to reasonable financing and indicated that the second phase of the Trust Loan Fund programme would soon be rolled out in the form of a Financial Literacy Bureau.

This bureau would provide training for small business owners in a number of areas, such as teaching how to manage their finances better so as to effect profitable business ventures.

Owner of Dollar Smart Discount Store, Apostle Magdalena Griffith, a former teacher, said her goal for opening the small business was to “develop lives within the community and set people on a path to living productive lives, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially”.

Ms. Griffith encouraged those in attendance at the opening “to make your dollar work for you because it is your dollar, therefore you have the power in spending and must be smart in doing so”.

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