Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss cutting the ribbon to officially open the Standard Distributors branch at Millhouse Complex with (from left) Deputy Managing Director of Standard Distributors Ltd Trinidad Kathleen Daly and chief executive officer of Standard Barbados Katrina Newton. (Picture by Christoff Griffith.)
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Barbadians who have money saved in commercial banks are being encouraged by Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss to invest in more business ventures.
He made the appeal after Standard Distributors opened its third location in Barbados yesterday following an almost half-million-dollar investment at Millhouse and Home Complex, Cane Garden, St Thomas.
Inniss, who commended the level of investment by Standard Distributors, said: “At a time when today the headline is of one perspective of reducing the public sector and going to the International Monetary Fund, which are conversations which we must have, we are not going to give the same level of prominence to private enterprise investing in facilities like these”.
He said the $45 million figure for Massy Stores Holetown’s recent renovation was a significant amount, particularly since the company purchases about $60 million in goods and services from Barbados every year.
He added that Standard Distributors’ investment was significant and at a time when people are preaching doom and gloom, the two Trinidadian-owned conglomerates reposed significant confidence in Barbados.
“I would like to see part of the $9 billion in savings in commercial banks in Barbados, which is owned principally by Barbadians, being invested, perhaps through funds that can be established, investment instruments that can be established. But we need to start having more faith in ourselves,” Inniss said, adding Barbadians were too pessimistic.
He said that it was possible to make businesses operational 24/7, as people want to do business after 5 p.m. and on the weekend, and the facilitation was there from the Government’s side.
“The state has provided legislation to give effect to such. You just need now to make your own internal arrangements,” he said to employers, while adding that there was some reluctance to do it in some quarters.
Chief executive officer for Standard’s Barbados, Katrina Newton, said that with the new location it will be the first time in well over a decade that the home retail store had three stores in Barbados.
“Over the last three years we have completely transformed our retail footprint and re-engineered our brand with a new contemporary store design,” she said.
Though there are no plans to add more locations in Barbados within the next year, Newton said that on the regional level they wanted to expand their footprint in 2018.
Deputy managing director of Standard Distributors Ltd Trinidad, Kathleen Galy, praised the project, saying that they were able to complete preparations for opening doors to the public in a little over three weeks.
She said that over the last four years Standard Barbados has taken on a totally new face, with newly renovated stores, a new warehouse and new management and is 100 per cent geared to customer service. (LK)