This announcement was made yesterday when the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs launched its Business of the Month and Innovative Business of the Year campaign.
F & M’s Halal is owned by Mr. Musa Muhammad who operates a poultry farm in Paraquita Bay. His business has been operational for 14 years and is a benefactor of a loan by the National Business Bureau. Halal Outlet was the winner of the several businesses that were shortlisted as one of those who were performing well. The business won based on outstanding customer service, provision of unique products, and diligent community involvement. A tour was also conducted by the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and other officials to these business enterprises.
As winner Mr. Muhammad was awarded a cheque of $1,500 and will receive support by way of Government providing free advertisements of the business for the month of March. These include a GIS interview with owner; sponsored commercials for the month on radio and television; a business profile on the Government’s Web site and the online media; a featured article in our local newspapers; profile on BVICCHA Web site; one year’s free membership with BVICCHA; and framed certificates for Business of the Month.
The two other businesses Reuben Vanterpool’s Jenesis Studios (Art Museum & Gallery) and Dean Titley’s Reel Paradise Charters (Fishing & Excursion) will also receive free advertisements during the month of March.
Honourable Smith, in his remarks at the event congratulated the winner of the Business of the Month and stated that a vibrant small and medium-sized enterprise business sector is important to the success of any economy including that of the BVI. He stated that when his Government took office, measures were taken to revitalise the Department of Trade which included the resurrection of the National Business Bureau to assist small businesses.
Premier Smith said, “We have spoken about putting out the red carpet to businesses to ensure that when they make applications for trade licenses, and any other thing to do with their business, that they are facilitated.”
The Premier said the role of the Department of Trade must also be to ensure that they are appreciated by businesses and are seen as friends helping to make their businesses succeed.
Premier Smith also made mention of the Power Move Academy programme which is a part of the Business Bureau that offers assistance to entrepreneurs during the first three years of their business.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Brodrick Penn said the occasion further reiterated Government’s commitment to support small businesses. He added that the National Business Bureau through the Department of Trade is providing strong financial support to small businesses and training opportunities for many other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Mr. Penn stated, “Today we awarding those that handled their affairs well and those who are very innovate in their business operations. I think it is important that we encourage, support and celebrate the successes of those businesses throughout each step of the way.”
Mr. Penn further pledged the Premier’s Office support to facilitate all feasible initiatives that will foster growth in the Territory through policy and resourcing.
Meanwhile, Director of Trade and Consumer Affairs Department, Mrs. Karia Christopher said the department’s strategy also includes fueling the entrepreneurial spirit and that this was an exciting time as the department prepares the Territory for local investments.
“The British Virgin Islands continues to showcase extraordinary growth and productivity in a competitive economy. The shortlisted businesses for this month’s competition were no exception to the rule. I am proud to be a part of such a prestigious initiative encouraging competitiveness amongst our economy,” she said.
The Business of the Month initiative was designed to promote and assist small businesses in the BVI and is a part of the investment strategy of the Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs. Through this programme, a local business will be featured and showcased every month. In addition, at the end of the year one of the featured businesses will be nominated for Small Business of the Year.
Businesses can apply, or public nominate businesses or business persons by submitting a nomination form and an essay of at least 300 words stating why the nominee should be considered for the Business of the Month award.
Application forms are available online at bvi.gov.vg and must be submitted to the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department in the Sebastian Building. Alternatively, submissions may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs is responsible for facilitating the development and growth of the BVI business environment, by helping businesses to realise their full potential. This is done through the establishment and management of programmes and networks that provide information, education, training, finance and other assistance in order to foster sustained economic development in the BVI.