PHILIPSBURG–Government’s plans for land along the still-to-be-constructed ring road and whether any plot will be allocated to market vendors were among questions Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams has posed Spatial Planning Minister Miklos Giterson and Economic Affairs Minister Stuart Johnson in a letter.
“The Market vendors and all the other small and micro entrepreneurs should be part and parcel of our economic recovery,” she said in a press statement outlining her query to the ministers. She is concerned that no information is available about market vendors in Philipsburg and food trucks on Walter Nisbeth Road.
Wescot-Williams said stories about the allocation of land along what is referred to as “Pondfill” and the ring road have led her to question the ministers about the plans for two areas.
She believes a concerted effort must be made to offer small businesses support, especially in these trying economic times “if we want to reap the benefits of a strong small business sector.”
“Will these small entrepreneurs be given the opportunity to get organised and make this area attractive to patrons, stimulating small business?” she asked.
It was “regretful” that the Qredit soft loan programme in St. Maarten was cut short due to financing issues. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, this type of financing for the small entrepreneurs “became a matter of survival for many,” she said.
Whether government views the vendors as part of the recovery of St. Maarten and of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector was queried by Wescot-William, as were plans, if any, promote SMEs. If support is available, she asked where qualifying small businesses can direct their queries and requests.
Wescot-Williams also requested an outline of government’s collaboration, if any, with the banking sector, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other entities in this particular sector of the economy.