The support from big businesses that the Aron and Christina Truss Foundation anticipated for its Highway 1 improvement project has not been forthcoming, the chairman of the charity Aron Truss said Wednesday.
Truss said the foundation had been receiving “amazing support” from the public, especially on social media.
However, he said it needed large financial commitments from the major businesses located on the west coast in order to raise the $3.6 million needed to repair the section of the highway from Spring Garden, St Michael to Holetown, St James.
“So far we have had pledges of funds from several small to medium size businesses along the stretch, but we have always said from the beginning that we needed bigger businesses for it to be really viable, like the banks and the large hotels . . . . So we are still seeing if we can persuade them, but we haven’t had any sort of commitments yet,” Truss said after presenting tablets to Class Three students of the Holy Innocents and Sharon Primary Schools Wednesday morning.
“For phase one we will need at least $3.6 million, so even though we have small businesses that can give us $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 we will need those banks and other big businesses who can support us in a much larger way and give us bigger amounts. If we can get those on board then we will focus on additional donations.”
The charity has already had commitments from two restaurants and a condominium, with the restaurants considering either a fundraising dinner, or making donations which they will offset against the Corporation Tax they would otherwise have to pay this year. The majority of the condominium owners have agreed to make donations, Truss said.
The foundation chairman encouraged the public to lobby businesses in the area, and to support those that have committed to the project.
“We need more businesses to donate and offset it against their Corporation Tax for this project to be successful,” he said.
Work on the road resurfacing project is expected to begin in May, following the end of the winter tourist season.
Truss said the foundation would publish donors’ names to prove to Government that “there are many people who are concerned about the state of our roads and our country, and this project is an opportunity for all of us to do something proactive to help deal with an issue that we believe is not being dealt with adequately”.