EDITORIAL: Let’s make Bridgetown alive again
BARBADOS CANNOT afford a capital city that is dead. Certainly not at a time when the economy is barely keeping its head above water.
It was therefore a major concern to hear Opposition Senator Wilfred Abrahams in the Upper House during debate last week describe the City as dead.
Images of a bustling Bridgetown with business people plying a brisk trade and shoppers spending are, for many, a thing of the past or seasonal.
As we approach the end of the first quarter of the year, and with the current debate by parliamentarians on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the 2016 to 2017 financial year, every effort must be made to breathe life and renewed energy into The City. The buzz of Bridgetown needs to be restored.
Recently published news reports have provided evidence of empty spaces where shops were once located in some of the malls which dot Broad Street. Many businesses have moved out and left shop spaces that have been empty for some time, with seemingly no replacements.
The City needs a wake-up, a resurgence of activity that will boost commerce.
In this the 50th year of Barbados’ Independence, the time is ripe for businessmen and women to galvanise support and come together to seriously address what is going on not only in the capital, but across all major business hubs.
It would be prudent to focus attention also on what is happening in Warrens in St Michael, Speightstown in St Peter, and shopping areas in Christ Church. Business hubs that are popping up in non-traditional areas also need to be embraced. They too have a contribution to make to the economy.
A critical eye must be paid to what is going on in all these areas and there must be a serious analysis with a view to improvements. There must also be timelines given to structure the implementation of any proposed projects that would benefit the economy.
Too often great ideas are tabled but never actioned, and left to languish by the wayside.
For some time, those in business have been crying out for help. The cries have been loud from not only those who manage retail stores, but also from vendors who operate on the street. The struggle is real for many of these people who try to make a dollar day after day.
The senator has sounded the alarm and we believe it is a caution that must not be ignored. We need to breathe life back into the City.