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Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 25, 2018 (SKNIS): Now closing out its fourth consecutive year, Restaurant Week continues to make a tremendous impact on the economy, especially for small businesses while promoting sustainable development.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton, while speaking on this week’s edition (July 25) of “Working for You”, said that Restaurant Week is seen as a powerful sustainable platform for tourism, which continues to create many linkages within the Federation.

She said that a fairly new initiative that was spearhead this year, thanks to funding from the Organisation for American States (OAS), was the pairing of local artisans with participating restaurants to allow the artisans to market their products.

“You go out and eat and somewhere in the corner is someone who perhaps makes craft that they have on display. Outside of seeing them at that particular restaurant, you may never have had the opportunity. We are very happy with the progress that is being made by a number of our artisans. They are producing at extremely high levels,” she stated.

She also explained that a link has been made between agro-processors and hotels for the utilization of locally made products like hot sauce. She said that hotels are now making contracts with local artisans and processors to buy their products as souvenirs that they can give to their guests.

“It’s growing legs and we are seeing the types of partnerships and linkages that we would want to see developing from what’s going on during restaurant week as well as other initiatives being introduced by the Ministry of Tourism,” she added.

She also said that the use of locally grown themed ingredients yearly promotes hotels and restaurants to use local farmers and suppliers for these fruits and vegetables because small businesses are at the heart of the economy.

“We are looking for that type of trickledown effect wherever we can get it,” she said.

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