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New policy to assist micro and small businesses


New policy to assist micro and small businesses

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BY AUGUST this year, a new policy framework will be presented to Cabinet designed around enhancing the micro and small business sector in Barbados.

And, according to Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, his Ministry is in the final stages of preparing the current draft document which will be circulated to stakeholders in a few weeks.

He made this disclosure this morning as he gave remarks at the announcement of Scotiabank’s Economic Growth Fund, at the Courtyard by Marriott, Worthing, Christ Church.

Scotiabank is currently launching a major initiative for the private sector in Barbados – the Scotiabank Economic Growth Fund – a $50 million loan fund which will be available for the next six months catering to small and medium-sized businesses.

Before an audience that included Minister of Finance, Christopher Sinckler, Inniss indicated that his Ministry was currently undertaking a “complete review of the micro and small business sector in Barbados aimed at creating the right kind of policy space from whence we can develop this very important area”.

“Needless to say, the Government is of the firm view that the small business sector in particular is the one that will really continue to drive this economy, diversify it, create the jobs, earn and save the foreign exchange, but above it all be the place from whence our entrepreneurs and young people in particular can achieve their full potential,” he stressed.

Praising Scotiabank for its initiative in launching such a fund, the Minister said he was sure that it would be well received by the business community, while adding that it was his belief that it “was not always just about money”.

“While Scotiabank and other financial institutions will offer these things, at the end of the day the individual entrepreneur, the individual business person must always first and foremost ask themselves ‘what is it their business needs?’ ‘What is my vision and where do you want your business to go?’ and then also ask fundamental questions, such as ‘Do you have the right strategic plan?’ ‘Do you have the right management systems in place or the ‘right HR practices?’

“I find quite often we complain and say that we need money but when you really sit down with your advisors, the realisation is that money is not the main thing you need and even if you get the money and you do not have your businesses well organised, including getting your accounting systems together, then you will find that your money will quickly dissipate and your business will go nowhere,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Scotiabank’s managing director, Caribbean East, David Noel, stated that the Economic Growth Fund targeted businesses that were seeking to expand, modernise their operations, or purchase new equipment, so that they could become more efficient and productive.  He further added, that they were also targeting businesses that were looking to ‘go green’ and implement energy saving solutions.

Noel revealed that in addition to the Growth Fund for Barbados, his company was simultaneously launching another one, worth EC$50 million, in the Eastern Caribbean islands where they operated.  (BGIS)