EDITORIAL: Businesses key
The headlines have been full of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) report and the state of the economy, and we have all heard by now of the fact of lay-offs in the public sector. The message is simple and effective in its impact, because it is crystal clear that there will be some hardship.
This is a time for Barbadians to listen carefully and separate the chaff from the wheat in the several statements, arguments and propaganda and recognise that we are all in this together. That means that every man, woman – and child, too, where it matters – must join the fight to stabilise the ship of state.
Now from time to time in the past the words corporate Bridgetown have become something of a term of abuse, even as we were told that we had to aim to capture the “commanding heights of the economy”. If there appears to be a contradiction between these two sentiments, the current economic stress has raised to the forefront of our minds how important corporate Bridgetown, or corporate Barbados, is to our economic survival and prosperity
It has to be said and said loud and clear. Business is not a dirty word, but is a critical cog in the scheme of our national governmental structure. If a country is to be successfully run then the government has a responsibility to provide the appropriate platform to enable business to make reasonable profits and to provide taxes and employment.
It ought not to be lost on anyone that some of those who have been laid off are being encouraged to venture into entrepreneurship, which is nothing less than small business. Such advice speaks to the importance of business ventures to the economy and is to be warmly encouraged, but there is little sense in encouraging on the one hand and criticising and damning on the other. Very often these condemnations are by those who must know better, but they issue them for narrow expediency.
What is required is wider public education about the personal well-being and honour that a successful business person can earn; and the contribution which he or she can bring to the country, especially where the entrepreneur’s project yields foreign exchange earnings.
This country needs more entrepreneurs who are prepared to create employment, generate profits and yield taxes for Government in relationships which have to be synergistic if they are to produce optimal benefits for the society.
We seem to have incubated a risk-averse culture, which still hampers the development of a truly indigenous spirit, eager to explore business as an honourable profession, on par with medicine, law and the other traditional callings.
There is never an ill wind, and we must make sure that one of the lessons learnt from this turmoil is that entrepreneurship is everybody’s business. All businesses are key elements in our political social and economic stability and help to keep our country strong.