In anticipation of the opening of the luxurious Kempinski Hotel in October 2019, the north areas of Dominica and its people are ensuring absolute readiness to serve guests with five-star quality.
The Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD) in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise & Small Business Development; Ministry of Tourism and Culture; Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) recently held a three-day two-component workshop in Portsmouth – Delivering Quality Service by CTO’s Joan Leacock and Business Development by CREAD’s MSME Business Advisor, Elijah Leblanc.
The workshop which ran from June 17 – 27 was split into four groups with the business development module around the central theme – Creating and Sustaining a Five-Star Mindset – while concentrating on the intricacies of business development including: Formation of a Business, Accountancy, Supply Chain Logistics and Risk Management; while Delivering Quality Service focused on several customer centric and tourism related topics.
Attended by 91 small business owners and operators from Portsmouth and neighbouring northern villages, the interactive workshop provided practical training and encouraged a high level of interface. Participants, most of whose businesses, were adversely impacted by Hurricane Maria lauded organisers for the workshop and the areas expertly and thoroughly explored.
Joan Connor who owns a craft shop said: “I learnt how to be more resilient and five-star ready. It was very beneficial to me.” These sentiments were echoed by Anastasia Thomas who lost her laundry equipment to Hurricane Maria: “I took away that I must be more approachable and that I definitely need signs for my business.”
Nennette Daniel-Baptiste who owns a small restaurant and bar in Portsmouth also lost everything to the hurricane but has since rebuilt and reopened said: “I got a lot out of the workshop, especially, the record keeping part.” Familiarly known as The Cassava Man, Glenworth Cyrille, had this to say: “I always want to grow my business and myself professionally as well, so I seek knowledge always. You cannot put a price on this session. I am eager to pass on what I have learnt to my staff also.”
These were just a sample of the rave reviews received from attendees who were all presented with a certificate of completion at the closing ceremony which was attended by Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Robert Tonge; Minister for Trade, Energy and Employment Honorable Ian Douglas; Minister for Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business, Honorable Roslyn Paul; Mayor of Portsmouth, Titus Francis, as well as, Permanent Secretary (ag) Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Roland Royer who chaired the proceedings. Permanent Secretaries Careen Prevost and Gloria Joseph were also in attendance.
Each minister and the Mayor spoke to the importance of such a workshop to Portsmouth and the surrounding areas, especially considering the impending opening of an international hotel in the north. They also applauded participants for recognizing the importance of the sessions and making a special effort to attend.
Leblanc facilitated the workshop in collaboration with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise & Small Business Development, Esther Thomas who both remarked on the level of commitment, interest and engagement displayed by all participants.