“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” – Luke 6:35-36

David Cameron Gikandi’s book “A Happy Pocket full of Money” espouses “Your Quantum Leap into the Understanding, Having and Enjoying of Immense Wealth and Happiness”.   It epitomises the philosophy of Wealth Consciousness by reminding us to experience infinite wealth, abundance and happiness here, now in the new golden age of humanity.   Further, he advises that everything you need to make you happy is inside of you and nothing outside of you can stop you.

I received a response from Karen Bart-Alexander to a recent column of mine entitled “Centres of Excellence” where I concluded that we must pay immediate attention to the development of Centres of Excellence if we strive after successful sustainable development of a country. This success depends on its ability to utilise its resources (physical, spiritual, financial, human, intellectual, social, cultural and natural) in the context of Centres of Excellence.

She said that she loved this thinking, it was right on target and consistent with what the Japanese did and then went on to quote from Gikandi’s book as follows: “They (the Japanese) carefully selected the industries they thought would be big on the global economy and they geared their education, financial, political and legal systems to make the whole country walk as one towards achieving their goals.” She continued that what I have proposed is the right track not only for Barbados but for the Caribbean and that each island might have a slightly different focus but the process is extremely relevant.

I have the honour to be associated with the current Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry project on the Revitalisation of Bridgetown. There have been numerous studies and plans for the revitalisation of Bridgetown but few have been implemented and there is still much room for the city to be transformed into the best it can be.

On this occasion there is a determination to recognise that the process of revitalising a city is not so much on the plan but on the assembly of spiritual energy and the understanding that everything that is needed for success is inside of you and nothing outside of you can stop you.  In practical terms this may be described by the thought that as one pursues the upside potential, one has to manage the downside risks.  This more inspiringly said in Luke Chapter 6, “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind”.

The new Bridgetown Brand mirrors an environment which is “A clean, attractive, safe and vibrant urban core which supports a variety of activities both night and day for nationals, local residents and tourists”. The Brand Image conjures up in the minds of people an amalgam of Centres of Excellence. We must mobilise resources to address projects which would lay the foundation for growth. We must mobilise resources to develop and coordinate an amalgam of centres of excellence which will define the Bridgetown Barbados Brand so that it appeals to local as well as traditional and emerging tourism markets. We must mobilise resources to contribute to growth of the Barbados Economy through the revitalisation of its capital city.

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be having a Bridgetown Revitalisation Retreat on Friday 14 May where an appeal will be made to public sector, private sector and funding agency stakeholders alike to put their collective shoulders to the plough so that we can mount early projects, preconditions for success, which will lay the foundation for the development of these Centres of Excellence which are integral to the new Bridgetown Brand.

To this end the Chamber has commissioned (1) a survey of property owners and business operators on each street in Bridgetown from the bridge to the Port to the Oval and then to Bay St. via Country road and Halls road to record basic qualitative information on businesses in terms of type and size (large, medium, small) which operate within all properties in Bridgetown; and (2) a “broad-spectrum census” of the business houses within the Bridgetown area to collect idiosyncratic quantitative data as it pertains to each entity including – name of business, owner, and contact details – name, telephone, email and landlord.  This database will facilitate the development of an information database and communication process between the Chamber and businesses in Bridgetown. This will then expedite the entire systematic and evolutionary process of the revitalization of Bridgetown.

When The Revitalisation of Bridgetown Concept is implemented and evolves, it is envisaged that Bridgetown property owners and Bridgetown business operators (large and small) will benefit from enhanced property values and increased business turnover, respectively.

The surveyors will be in the field this week and each surveyor will be issued with an identification badge confirming accreditation to and affiliation with the Chamber.  Landlords and businesses are asked to kindly cooperate in this enumeration exercise.