The Aruba Economic Development Alliance (AEDA) called a press conference to announce an important project for Aruba. One of the tasks of the Aruba Economic Development Alliance (AEDA) is to stimulate the San Nicolas community to have their own businesses.
This could stimulate the economy of San Nicolas, create an economically diversified foundation, raise household incomes, bring pride to the merchant and his family and
setting an example for future generations so that they too may have the opportunity to own a tent.
Mr. Mark Levine leads AEDA along with a local team. AEDA is a private institution with its own fund. Mark has experience in Economic Development in the Caribbean for over 40 years. Mark started working in Aruba in the 1970s and has been living in Aruba for over 30 years. Much of his time in Aruba he lived in San Nicolas.
Here are some projects that Mr. Levine was involved in. To identify what the San Nicolas community wants, an extensive survey was conducted. From this some wishes were identified that AEDA could help the community with.
Together with the community, they created a project that will assist with the following: Aruba lacks products of the different cultures that represent them.
* Desire to own a business
* Knowledge of how to run a business
* High costs and rents to run a store are a barrier
* More opportunities to access funds to invest
* Revitalization of the Main Street San Nicolas
Stimulating small businesses is essential for economic development. This will help you to:
*Boost the economy of San Nicolas
* Creating a basis for a diversified economy
* Increase the income of the San Nicolas community
* Raise the pride of the store owner’s families
*It is an example for future generations to also become traders
* Creating more opportunities in Downtown San Nicolas
Based on surveys in San Nicolas it was realized that the community wishes that there could be more products of their culture of origin. It was also suggested that in order to realize this the community of San Nicolas should have the opportunity to open their shops. Based on this combination AEDA created the Aruba Cultural Malls project.
The project involves the purchase of two buildings in downtown San Nicolas. These will be renovated and used as malls for small shops. It is in the process of acquiring a third building. The Aruba Cultural Malls project is privately funded and Mark is the sole investor. The reason for investing in San Nicolas is because Mark and AEDA believe in the potential of San Nicolas.
In order for the project to work and provide opportunities to the San Nicolas community, AEDA will offer very low rents so that a potential shop owner can have a real opportunity to open his own business. In order to lower the rental price, he decided to reduce the profit so that he could achieve his goal. This project will produce profit but in a sustainable way.
Rental prices will start at approximately AWG 850,- (excl.)
The Government of Aruba responded positively to the project and offered to assist where possible.
Before the end of the year, renovation will begin on the first building, formerly Cosecha. The main mall will be completed by mid-2024 and at the latest before the end of 2024.
A project that will benefit the San Nicolas community. A portion of the Aruba Cultural Malls will be used as an educational space where the San Nicolas community can take courses on various topics, including business ownership and financial literacy.