Symmonds: Time to change approach to small and micro business

Barbados is not doing enough to ensure small and micro business thrive, said Minister of Business Development Kerrie Symmonds.

During the launch of the Ministry’s business fair and expo in Baobab Towers, Warrens, St Michael, on Tuesday, he said too many small businesses ended up under the radar, shutting down before they could truly begin.

“I feel there is a need for us to go further. We cannot just see the solutions to some of the problems the small and micro businesses in Barbados have in the context of making more and more money available, because sometimes the issue is not simply the availability of money. We have to start to seriously assess the socio-political responses we have to the challenges which are facing this sector,” he said.

Symmonds, Senior Minister with Responsibility for the Productive Sectors, said Barbados has approached this is a limited way and a re-thinking of the way things have been done was now necessary to truly reopen the economy.

“We have to see how we can make interventions which are more targeted and perhaps more useful above and beyond the instinctive first response of throwing money at a problem. The time has come for us to do things differently and to stand in the breach in the interest of ensuring equality of opportunity and financial access and the quality of treatment for the small and micro business sector,” he said.

This is where the expo come in. It will be held on Friday at the Warrens Business Complex and will include representatives from both the public and private sector giving advice on standards, debt management, consumer rights and more. Symmonds said the aim was to hold it on a quarterly basis.

“This wonderful initiative will create an opportunity for people who have been dislocated as a result of the pandemic. We can create a marketplace which creates a commercial opportunity for small and micro businesses in Barbados which have been impacted, in some cases so severely that their doors could not open for many months,” he said.

The expo is the brainchild of Supervisor of Insolvency Esther Springer who said too many small operations were going bankrupt due to bad investments, excessive borrowing, poor corporate governance and poor financial management as well as a lack of knowledge about business management and a lack of financial literacy. (CA)

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