Twenty-three entrepreneurs were handed keys to their new business places at the Charlotteville Micro-Enterprise Centre on Friday. The two-storey project, which began under former Secretary of the Division of Tourism and Transportation Tracy Davidson-Celestine, cost $25 million. It was handed over by Secretary of the Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour Marslyn Melville Jack.
The centre, which falls under the Business Development Unit at the division, initially catered for 17 businesses but was expanded, owing to the overwhelming interest shown by applicants.
Business Development Unit manager Shelly-Ann Baptiste advised the new tenants to take ownership of their space.
“Own it, cherish it, defend it,” she said.
Melville-Jack said the division, and by extension the Tobago House of Assembly, has not just invested in the development of physical infrastructure but also human capital. She added that the division sees this centre not only as another community asset, but one which will contribute tangibly to the social and economic development of this community.
Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis said that with the investment made, he will be looking forward to seeing the many entrepreneurs flourish. Dennis acknowledged now is a challenging time for people in the business world but he has faith they will overcome.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Davidson-Celestine; area representative Farley Augustine, Chief Administrator of the Tobago House of Assembly Bernadette Solomon-Koroma and Administrator in the Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour Haynsley Trim.
The Charlotteville Micro-Enterprise Centre was constructed in conjunction with the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment and contractors Towers Consortium Consultancy Ltd.
The businesses accommodated at the centre include Yadee’s Pastry Shop, La Roche Unique Designs, Oasis, Mr Biggy, Ideal Delights, Minet Solutions, New Foods Supermarket, Neoteric Upholstery and Interior, Crave D’ Flavour, Khanzz Arcade City, Charlotteville Food Basket, Dazzele’s Variety Store, Exclusive Preservatives, Kreative Klosets, Made with Love by Debbie, Charlotteville/Speyside Farmers Association, MY Mart, Price is Right Variety Store, Earthville Craft and Petula’s Frontline Shop.