Nevis’ Junior Minister of Trade – Dwight Cozier
July 15, 2009
The small business sector on Nevis was given greater access to financing, through a $1million agreement signed between the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the Nevis Corporative Credit Union (NCCU) on July 10.
Junior Minister of Trade on Nevis Hon. Dwight Cozier said during the ceremony at the NCCU Board Room, that the NIA was dedicated to the island’s development of small businesses and the Entrepreneurial Development Fund was a demonstration of that commitment.
“This agreement brings $1million to the scope of small businesses lending in this country”
“So we believe that going forward, the road to small business development will be well paved with the assistance of our very trustee the Nevis Corporative Credit Union,” he said.
The Entrepreneurial Development Fund was set up in 2002 and made loans available to small business. However, in 2007, the NIA restructured that arrangement.
While he encouraged small business owners to take advantage of the Fund, Mr. Cozier explained that a more competent management committee was brought to the arrangement under the Micro and Small Enterprises Act of 2007.
The committee has 8-10 persons and is managed by Ms. Sharon Hobson. It is charged with the perusal of loan applications to make the necessary recommendations to Small Business Development Officer Mr. Patrice Wilkin.
Mr. Cozier noted that despite the management committee, the procedure for borrowing a small business loan was very clear.
He also explained that under the Micro and Small Business Ordinance, 2007, there was a protocol set out for persons to access duty free concessions for small businesses and the criteria was very clear.
“It is something that Mr. Patrice Wilkin will be able to make available in a very simple format to small business owners along with his now new officer Ms. Sharon,” he said.
Meantime, President of the NCCU Mr. Stedroy Pemberton said his financial institution was pleased to partner with the NIA for the advancement of the people of Nevis.
“We have been partnering with the NIA in a number of areas in particular the small business since 2002 and we are going to be continuing the relationship”¦ We are allways willing to partner and form alliances with institutions so that we can spread the reach of the Nevis Corporative Credit Union within the economy and the space in which we operate.
“We know that it is small businesses that continue, from time, to time to hold economies together and so we don’t anticipate that there would be any difference from the Nevis perspective,” he said.
Among those present at the ceremony were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade Mr, Dwight Morton, Mr. Wilkin, Ms. Hobson, Legal Counsel Ms. Shemica Maloney, General Manager of the NCCU and Secretary to the NCCU Board of Directors Mr. Curtis Morton.