Trade and Industry Minister, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon lauded Cruz Garments Limited, the most recent recipient of TT$113,529 in funding for their successful business model. The firm, which accessed the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Grant Fund Facility (GFF), was presented with a ceremonial cheque by the Minister on Monday 27 January, 2020. According to the Minister Gopee-Scoon, “The Facility continues to assist locally-based firms to become globally competitive, and encourage greater investment by existing private sector companies. It supports the Government’s diversification endeavours as it targets producers in priority sectors and fosters technological advancement and innovation.”
Underscoring the important role of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), similar to Cruz Garments Limited, in a country’s economic growth and development the Minister noted that domestically, SMEs contribute 28% to Trinidad and Tobago’s Gross Domestic Product, account for 91% of all registered businesses and employ approximately 200,000 persons. She added that given the challenges being faced by SMEs, including financing for business expansion, capability development and access to new markets the GFF was established.
Ms. Lilla Williams, Managing Director of Cruz Garments Limited, a community based manufacturing firm in Cantaro, Santa Cruz was delighted to receive the grant which was a milestone for the company. With the resurgence of the garment industry the company, which exports 30% of its outputs regionally, will utilise the funding to improve the finish of their products with greater efficiency. New machinery and equipment, including several industrial sewing machines, and steam pressing systems will be acquired with the grant.
“If we continue to properly incentivize SMEs, like Cruz Garments Limited, we can together achieve full economic diversification and transformation,” the Trade and Industry Minister stated. She gave the assurance that the Ministry will continue to work alongside the relevant state agencies, such as, exporTT Limited, to bolster SMEs via initiatives that increase export capacity and competitiveness, thereby improving the business and trade-enabling environments.
Noting the urgent need for stitchers in the garment manufacturing process, Ms. Williams announced that the company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MIC Institute of Technology to train people in the garment industry. She added that her organisation stands ready to partner with others to make a difference in the industry.
Ms. Franka Costelloe, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA), presented the Managing Director of Cruz Garments Limited with a one (1) year certificate of membership and gave the commitment of the TTMA to support the company’s growth and expansion.
Cruz Garments Limited mass produces an array of garments such as work wear, uniforms and a collection of other apparel for industrial and security service personnel as well as the hospitality sector and the creative industries. They also provide employment for twenty five (25) persons.