SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector is one of the primary drivers of economic growth and employment in a country in which they operate.
They create financial independence, provide employment and encourage innovation, said Garth Sherwood, Country Manager CIBC FirstCaribbean as he addressed some eighty (80) businesses at the opening of the First in Business Seminar hosted by the bank on March 14th.
“Prior to Hurricane Irma you accounted for 85% of companies operating and you provided approximately 20% of the TOT collected by Government. I have used these numbers to properly put into context the importance of you and your business to the economy of our Island. Time has come to provide the MSME community with an opportunity to grow their business, not only by providing you with working capital assistance when necessary but also by facilitating a forum that provides important information that can assist in facilitating an improvement in the performance and management of your businesses.” Sherwood further stated.
Minister of Finance the Honorable Perry Geerlings, who was also present, said the event “a welcomed and much needed seminar – an excellent platform to share information and knowledge.”
The forum provided businesses the opportunity to network and gain expertise in the specific fields of Law, Finance, Insurance and Accounting in an engaging setting. Presentations and discussions were conducted with guest speakers Daniella Engelhardt of Van Eps van Doorne Law Firm, Ms. Marcia Illidge, BDO Accounting Firm, Mr. Neil Henderson, Henderson International Insurance and Mr. Jimmy Challenger of CIBC FirstCaribbean.
“With the vital information presented, the bank aims to assist businesses with improvements in management and performance within their industries. CIBC FirstCaribbean remains adamant in its prominent role in the success of the island and its businesses. The First in Business seminar is confirmation of this commitment”, said Sherwood.
The bank recently also held a Driven to Own Financial Planning and Mortgage series event in collaboration with MotorWorld, bringing more than two hundred (200) attendees together seeking ownership and solid financial freedom.