With exactly one month remaining to the opening of the renovated BTL Park on the Newtown Barracks, the race is on to facilitate training for the vendors who will occupy the space. On Thursday the Belize City Council hosted a five-day exercise designed to teach important facets of business to the group. With more here is Mayor Darrell Bradley.
Mayor Darrel Bradley: “They will be trained in 5 areas of Business Management. We are going to be looking at costumer service, product development, Marketing, Financial Planning and at General Business Management. The training is supposed to be very flexible, the Small Business Development Center does very creative training. I had an opportunity to share with them some of the experiences in the South where they do training with people entirely visual. It is something that is supposed to be very fun, informative, engaging ad interactive and it should complement their business model very nicely. At the end of the training, there is also going to be a one on one session where persons from the Small Business Development Center will interview each of the applicants and they will ask them, questions about their business plans. So, in a sense they will test them that they know some of the issues that they are going to face running and operating their own business because one of the things that we are really looking at is sustainability”.
The Mayor tells us about his expectations for the group.
Mayor Darrel Bradley: “The end of the training which is a 5 day period, each of the participants who have been selected for the BTL Project, will occupy one of the kiosks there, Each of those participants will receive a grant from the city to assist them with the purchasing of stock and to remodel the interior of the kiosk to get it ready for the grand opening which is December 7th”.
There will be some financial assistance to the vendors.
Mayor Darrel Bradley: “We are not finalized with that. The grants will be around $1,500 per person. We had toured with the idea of making it based on need and varying it, but all the applications that we have received which are very creative (for example, we have a flower shop) I mentioned a jet ski business with various food operators and tourism operators; all of it is around the same size in terms of business operations. We are going ahead with one flat grant amount and we are working with various business partners to source that funding. But by the time that they finish this training of five days they will enter the interviewing period which will take another week, they will be given the grant”.
The exercise will take place at the Samuel Haynes Institute of Learning.