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Walters: Small businesses need more help

Walters: Small businesses need more help
First vice president of the Democratic Labour Party Ryan Walters. (FILE)

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First vice president of the Democratic Labour Party Ryan Walters said today that some “small businesses and entrepreneurs have been largely sidelined by this administration and now especially during the COVID-19 period”.

In a statement, Walters said among these businesses was the Alliance of Owners of Public Transport (AOPT).

“The AOPT has been recently calling on Government to give assistance to its members during the  [National] Pause similar to what has been provided to other small businesses.

“Outside of their Trust Loan Fund, the Government has failed the small business sector. Last year COVID-19 support was offered but to [access] it was almost impossible. The qualifying bar was set way too high . . .,” he said.

Walters suggested that Government should have assisted these businesses by donating products such as hand sanitiser stations and alcohol.

The DLP’s first vice president also referred to an issue surrounding the labelling of goods.

“Sutherland [former Minister of Small Business] also said he was cracking down on small shops that do not label their goods or give a bill. Can you imagine a village shop in the worse and most uncertain times having to invest in cash registers, label machines, etc in fear of being shut down? This is an establishment that is catering to $20 and $50 transactions at a time . . .,” he said.

Walters said Government should have taken a different approach on two other issues. One issue relates to the initial February 3 to 17 National Pause, when Government offered small businesses sums of $250 or $750 a week depending on their business.

With regard to some people who had applied for aid, Walters said: “The right thing to do is to follow your due diligence process and expedite payments to those you can confirm. The other thing to do is to reach out to those who could not be verified and encourage them to register their business. This is the time for love and understanding . . . .” (PR)