Demming Chronicles chats with Carnival Entrepreneur Alvern Porter and Restauranteur Dale Ramirez

Sharing his experience about how storming a J’Ouvert Band led to the creation of a successful enterprise, Event Organizer, Videographer, J’Ouvert Band Producer Alvern Porter suggests that a period of normalcy is unlikely to return to Trinidad and Tobago before 2023. While his local and International event planning business has screeched to a halt, there has been the opening up of online events as possible income generators for him and his colleagues.

Alvern commented that Trinidad and Tobago has traditionally launched the global Carnival experience but that leadership role may be threatened by Covid 19 and we risk some other country assuming that role.

As a Cultural Entrepreneur, he urged other creatives to understand their skill sets and find ways to quickly pivot to other income generating activities. The business side of creativity is where opportunities lie. Having a vision, being passionate about that vision and developing a tolerance for risk can help cultural entrepreneurs create new and different products for a post Covid market.

At 14:19, the conversation changed to Restauranteur Dale Ramirez who shared his business ethos which made Drink Wine Bar and the Loft Art Gallery successful. While both business are casualties of the Covid war, he looks forward to a re-invigorated Woodbrook area where the Parks could be used as open air entertainment spaces. Such an approach is likely to encourage persons to venture out into open spaces to enjoy entertainment and food.

While he likened the current pandemic to a slow motion war where things are vanishing off the face of our cities and towns, he is confident that the recovery will be different once confidence in safety returns. Two enabling factors will be the investment in technology and the ramping up of the infrastructure to create and support cashless transactions.

To young entrepreneurs he cautioned them to see and understand the new needs which will emerge and spend a lot more time on researching and “marinating” their concepts. Dale commented that he and another entrepreneur “Roses” have joined forces to retain some employees and provide a different offering “Punch and Pie”.

His parting request was for us as a society to think out of the box and figure out ways to allow healthy citizens to return to income generation.

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