Santia Jones accepting her token of appreciation from BTFL Business Development Manager, Kirk Dottin. Looking on are Santia’s husband, Reginald Jones (left) and Akhnaten Burrowes (right). (J. Carrington/BGIS)

Some clients of the Barbados Trust Fund Limited (BTFL) could not contain their excitement when they received tokens of appreciation for maintaining good loan payments.

During the event at the company’s Building No. 4, Harbour Industrial Estate, St. Michael location, Business Development Manager, Kirk Dottin, said 15 clients were rewarded, and in addition to receiving tokens of appreciation, some of them had previously benefitted from loan top-ups or a second loan.

Mr. Dottin disclosed that, since 2018, BTFL had financed approximately 3,500 loans totalling just over $16 million, and the entity had been performing well despite the COVID-19 situation.

“Given the COVID situation, we have found that a lot of persons have been coming forward wanting to start businesses. In terms of starting their own businesses, we are trying to give those persons the right opportunity by doing our due diligence, in order to avoid saturating a particular sector,” he stated.

The BTFL official continued: “We have found that some persons have come with innovative ideas to differentiate themselves from others in the sector.  So, those are the kinds of projects or niche sectors that we are looking to get involved with…”

Mr. Dottin also gave an update on the progress of the Wine and Spirit and Health and Beauty Clusters.  “Both of the clusters are going well. We have started a series of wine and spirit pop-ups and we are so thankful to ShopSmart for giving us the opportunity, and we are actually staging the fourth sampling event, where customers can give feedback on the product.”

Meanwhile, Sara Lee Barker, co-owner of C&S Spot and makers of the signature Old Fashioned Rum Punch, was pleased to be recognised by the Fund for her efforts to provide a product using locally produced products.

“It makes you feel good because when you are trying so hard you get frustrated because of the obstacles you encounter. But today, (last Friday) makes it feel a little lighter and it makes you feel like you are getting somewhere,” Ms. Barker underlined.

Likewise, Santia Jones of Santi’s Popcorn, another recipient, was overwhelmed by the token she received, and thanked the BTFL for its assistance. 

She said the Trust Fund was a great help to small entrepreneurs and she looked forward to an even closer working relationship.

“It is really a privilege to have a team of people like this that really push you and push you to fruition, in terms of your passions and desires to be a budding entrepreneur and to bring innovativeness to the Barbadian economy and the workforce generally,” she added. Mrs. Jones said she hopes to expand her six-year-old business to other locations.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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