During periods like these, St. Lucians who have faith in their country are given an opportunity to visualize the awesome possibilities of St. Lucia. We can conclude that the many phrases used to describe St. Lucia are consistent with realty,  St. Lucia – A Unique Destination For Business And Pleasure, St. Lucia – Simply Beautiful, St. Lucia Nice! We have so much to be grateful for.

   I chose St. Lucia as my home many years ago because I saw the potential then and after 27 years there are still many more mountains to climb in our quest for realizing our full potential. In recent years we have put together a number of strategy papers and are continuing to do so. Strategic planning is now utilized in all major institutions and corporations. We have finally adopted a scientific approach to managing our affairs.

   Our progress over the years is there for everyone to see. Our visitors attest to the progress. Let us all take ownership and be proud of our achievements. It should be the desire of each of us to do the best we can to energise all the productive sectors. Put money into developing projects that are different. We must now operate out of the box. We must begin to do the things we should have been doing years ago that still have growth potential. Corporate citizens must buy in to projects that will assist the communities around the island. There used to be a time when Corporate Executives used to seek out opportunities to collaborate with individuals and companies to encourage creative ideas.

   I was very happy to note that a St. Lucian female Entrepreneur successfully produced a movie but had to go through pain with the financial arrangements, which will definitely hamper the prospects of future productions. It is hell for the small businessperson to get corporate support.

   It takes blood, sweat and tears for the small businessperson to evolve. The signal is if you don’t have financial resources, don’t try anything. But history has proven that small businesspersons in most instances have risked their pennies on a do or die venture. A familiar scenario is a poor family mustering up all the funds they can put hands on, decide that there is an opportunity in Bar-B-Q Chicken, got involved, the first week end, they invested all their money but rain fell and hardly any business resulted. The family is finished and so it goes on.

   The time has come for the Small Business Association to expand its scope of services to the sector. The opportunities that are emerging give small businesspersons a real opportunity to live their entrepreneurial dream. It is important that we remind ourselves about these situations in times of plenty, when everybody is happy. We must send out the signal that whatever we are achieving, we can achieve so much more if we approach the problem of small business with a serious sense of commitment, acknowledging the contribution this sector can make in providing employment and improving the social and economic status of the poor in our midst.

   There are many opportunities in the future and I see the St. Lucia Industrial & Small Business Association really stepping up to the table in the new term which is scheduled to commence by July 1, 2004. A meeting of the Management Committee is scheduled for Saturday, 15/5/04

   Continue to enjoy St. Lucia Jazz – 2004. It has been great so far and as the curtain comes down this weekend, the results will show that it is the best year ever and that after all 13 is not a bad number.

    Keep the Faith – God is in Charge!!!