While the Trust Loan Fund has thus far disbursed approximately 2,900 loans at a value of $13.7 million, an entrepreneur has fully used up the money she received, as she showered praise on the business lifeline programme.
Managing Director of Golden Touch Spa Tiffanie Nurse said her business has received three tranches of the fund which she used to invest in equipment and buy stock. The ten-year-old Golden Touch Spa offers a wide range of massage and therapeutic services.
Nurse told Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland who toured her business at “Meadway”, Maxwell Hill, Christ Church that some of the money was also used as a downpayment for several pieces of modern technology equipment for the spa.
She said: “I think it is a good financial aid. The only thing is that I think if you go back more than once they could give you a larger sum. But it doesn’t take long to get and that is the best thing about it.
“So if I go in today and I say I need to buy some stock by the end of the next working day, or maybe the following day, I would be able to access the money. As opposed to if I go to the bank this Monday and by next Monday I am now waiting to hear if my loan has been approved to then come through the next week,”
Nurse said the fund, established in November 2018 to help aspiring entrepreneurs or established businesses, has significantly assisted the spa in rebranding and introducing new products.
“When we took our last loan we used it to fund our new products we were bringing to the market and they seem to be very successful. We will be paying off that last loan just now and we will be going back for another just in case of emergency,” Nurse said.
Sutherland said he was pleased with what he saw as he toured the facility. He said he was especially pleased with Nurse’s body scrub products – made from Barbadian sugar – which he said he has tried and suggested can be exported.
Sutherland also said that Nurse’s ability to access the Trust Loan Fund on three occasions is an indication that she has built a satisfactory repayment record.
He touted the $13.7 million disbursed to 2,958 businesses and over 4000 employees, as an example of Government investing in small business.
The minister for small business said: “I want to urge those small businesses again to utilize the Trust Loan, build your brand, build your business with a view to take those services abroad. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, I recognize that Golden Touch Spa utilized the opportunity to invest in technology to enhance their services and that is the way business must operate in this age.
“We have to utilize technology to leverage our businesses to reach our export markets and that is the only way people can know what we have to offer as a small nation.”
Sutherland gave an assurance that his ministry would work with Nurse to get her handmade products into export markets. (AH)