The Belize City Council dedicated a monument to entrepreneurs of Belize City. The monument which was erected near the foot of the historic Swing Bridge, was designed by Ivan Camal. Mayor Darrell Bradley spoke of the importance of the monument.
“This morning is an unveiling of what is a monument but for me it is a gateway into what we have fondly called the Fort George Tourism Zone and a significant amount of effort and energy has been put together in rationalizing and organizing this space and I also want to acknowledge the presence of various members from the Belize Tourism Board who have been a tremendous partner in organizing this space for the benefit of members of our community and the important message that I want to really emphasize this morning is that we must always remember that we are organizing a space not for vehicles but for people and an important part of that has to be an emphasis on collaboration, an emphasis in engagement of members of our community and emphasis on planning, on ensuring that we are bringing together the necessary partners who know what needs to be done within their space and that we are working in a very powerful and meaningful way to organize that space not for anything other than for the improvement of the lives of members in our community. It is dedicated not to any other entity but the entrepreneurial spirit within our city. It is dedicated to those thousands of business owners, employers and taxpayers those who are the lifeblood of our economy here in Belize City and we want to give a huge thank you to all of your investment.”
Mayor Bradley also spoke of the importance of the Caribbean Local Economic Development project which comes to a close soon.
“They were a tremendous part in the development of BTL park, they paid for all of the economic development aspects of the park including the construction of the booths, training and assisting us in monitoring and evaluating the project over the course of that four and a half years they have assisted with branding initiatives for Belize City, training from diverse areas of marketing and grant writing and so forth, they have partnered with us including by having representatives of the council attending conferences and seeing what goes on in Canada and in other parts of the world and they have been a constant partner including and up to this morning where we are very pleased to unveil this gateway entrance into Belize City and in total not only this particular contribution but assistance in setting up the local economic development office, assistance in doing some repair works at BTL park and our recent contribution from CARILED is approximately $80k and that is a tremendous gift because that is by way of a grant including the various projects so not only this initiative but in total we have benefitted over the four and a half years tremendously from CARILED’s generosity but I do not want to emphasize the financial contributions. I want to emphasize the visioning that CARILED has brought the emphasis on promoting local economic development emphasizing this idea of collaboration for the purpose of promoting opportunities within our space.”
Marion Villanueva of CARILED said they work in seven countries in the Caribbean and Belize remains at the forefront when it comes to best practices.
“The concept of LED is not rocket science it’s not all that new but what is new about LED and the Caribbean is the role that local governments play in facilitating and harnessing the business sector, national or central government, NGOs the church to come together around the common vision and that is what we see here today. You have quite a strong vision that is not just the mayor’s vision but the vision of the people of Belize and it is really about how to make the quality of life of the people of Belize City one that you can really be proud of and allow the business and the economy to thrive particularly the micro and small businesses which is what makes up a lot of communities in the Caribbean.”
A plaque thanking CARILED for its contributions was also unveiled.