You Are Reading Vol. 01 Issue. 11 AUGUST, 2013 Edition
SMALL BUSINESS WEEK Read more, pg 2
“When we sleep, evil flourishes”. These were the words of Small Business Association(SBA) President, Dalton Medford, in his welcome remarks at the recently held SBA town hall meeting. The meeting, which was called to discuss the budgetary statements and the impact on micro, small and medium enterprise sector included panelists the Hon. Denis Kellman MP, Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development and Economist Mr. Clyde Mascoll.
staffing levels and this would have a ripple effect in the communities across the island. However, the SBA President cautioned that the sector could not afford to simply throw its hands in the air in despair but was encouraged to “see the glass as half-full”.
Mr. Medford noted that this was not the first time Barbados had faced such a challenge and it would not be the last. He however said it was how business owners and Barbadians in general responded to the challenges
He concluded by saying that “we owe it to the that will determine the views of the next generation to dig deep in next generation. our souls and come up with the It was noted that, like Government, best solution for for Barbados”. For more visit our website at businesses could no longer hold www.sba.bb. strain particularly with regard to
There is strength in numbers. This was the message sent to the twenty-one (21) new members of the Small Business Association (SBA) during the recently held induction ceremony at the association’s headquarters. In delivering the welcome remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the SBA, Ms. Lynette Holder reminded the inductees that as a business support organisation, the association used its membership strength to be able to effectively lobby for the kind of enabling environment needed by the micro, small, and medium enterprise sector to develop. She also noted that in the past small business owners used their relationship and membership in
the association to get better service and faster recognition from other organisations who valued the importance of the association. Ms. Holder took the group on a journey from the association being a pressure group in the 1970s, to its current services and recent projects. One such project was the Tech Smart project, which is offered in collaboration with the Barbados Central Bank of Barbados, and provided 50 free websites for members.
SBA CONTINUES TO ADD NEW MEMBERS
IMPORTANT DATES - 2013
New members took the opportunity to introduce themselves, their businesses, and the range of goods
and services, which they offered. For more on the joining the SBA visit our website at www.sba.bb. REACH THE SBA
BRAZIL TRADE MISSION SEPT 14 - 21,
SMALL BUSINESS WEEK SEPT 21 - 28
NEXT TRAINING SEMESTER OCTOBER 7
1 Pelican Industrial Park,
SBA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
SMALL BUSINESS WEEK 2013 LAUNCHED
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SBA Outlook Newsletter
From left, SBA President, Dalton Medford, SBA CEO Lynette Holder and First Citiczens Bank Marketing andCommunications Officer, Kareem McClean Small Business Week 2013 was recently launched by the SBA to celebrate the achievements of the sector. It was also the opportunity for SBA CEO Lynette Holder to introduce title sponsor for the next three years First Citizens Bank. The week of activities will include a number of events including a thanksgiving concert, the Leo Leacock memorial lecture, a youth forum and 20/20 cricket match. The week will end with the annual awards dinner and ceremony. Small Business Week is the signature event on the SBA’s calendar and is intended to raise the level of awareness of the public and the importance of small businesses to the economic landscape of Barbados. First Citizens Bank’s Marketing and Communications Officer Kareem McClean noted that the bank was excited to work with the SBA and to work together to bring to the sector key products and service offerings. High on that list is the establishment of e-commerce facilities for the SME sector. In addition the bank will be launching a variety of financial products for the SME sector including credit card facilities specifically for business operators in the
sector. Ms. Holder also indicated that during this period the SME Smart Campaign which was started in 2012 would be rolled out to further galvanise the participation of the general public in supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises.
People’s Entrepreneur Award This year there will be a People’s Entrepreneur Award which will see the public voting for their entrepreneur of choice. Voting will start on Facebook and then move to a text component.
There are some 20 businesses taking part in the competition this year. For more on Small Business Week please visit our website at www.sba.bb.
BUDGET OF CONTRADITIONS
WE MUST SUPPORT OUR OWN
Small businesses in Barbados along with tourism (and its linkages), have carried the Barbadian Economy for the past forty years. This was the conclusion of economist Mr. Clyde Mascoll, one of the panelists at the recently held Small Business Association’s town hall meeting. Mr. Mascoll noted that the Barbados economy had benefited more from the establishment of small businesses (which account for 12-15% of the economy and contributed roughly $1 billion annually) since independence than even the manufacturing sector. Only tourism, he stated, would have done better.
Not a crisis but a challenge. This was the assessment of Barbados’ economy by the Hon. Denis Kellman MP, Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development during his address at the recently held Small Business Association town hall meeting.
Mr. Mascoll went on to say that the 2013 Budget had not addressed the concerns of the Barbadian economy, including the need to resuscitate the economic growth of Barbados, the need to sustain employment, the need to put more disposable income into the hands of Barbadians and the question of earning foreign exchange. In his wrap up the economist said that things would become more difficult for small businesses as the government expenditure contracts by $150 million while it sought to extract $200 million. This he said, will translate into much higher loss in the economy. To read the full article please visit our website www. sba.bb.
Did I Miss Something? I try very hard to rationalize most of what is told to me. I weigh the information before me very deliberately before I speak or act. So it is most unsettling now for me to be in a state of confusion after having experienced what for many has been largely a disappointing budget and a badly handled public relations exercise. I have said in other parts of the media before the budget was laid that it was important that the Freundel Stuart Administration to demonstrate a sense of understanding in this exercise so that they inspired confidence in the citizenry and by the same measure in business owners. Confidence is critical at such a time as this when the average citizen can see via the media what is happening in the international and regional business environment. I called for a greater commitment to transparency as tough decisions had to be made and a demonstrated understanding of the urgency in implementation to bring to pass in the sort term, the turn around of SBA Outlook Newsletter
The Minister noted that Barbados did not have a strong export culture and therefore if the country was strong in tourism and other areas, then there was a need to maximize the foreign exchange from those areas. Mr. Kellman stated that citizens needed to support local busineses. He said “we have a foreign culture, which has changed since 2010”. He pointed out that if the imports are down by a billion dollars and the small business sector did not pick up the slack, he was satisfied that the government had created the enabling environment to allow the manufacturing sector to benefit. He lamented that Barbadians had moved away from this culture opting for bank accounts resulting in the liquidity of the banking system. The minister stated that “the biggest sin was allowing Barbadians to put their money into banks while inviting others to come in and build out Barbados”. The Minister, said that there was a need to have holistic approach to business in Barbados. The Small Business Act, punished people for performing. He said it was contradictory to ask a business to perform and when it reach a certain level punish it for performing and stop them from further development. To read the full article please visit our website www.sba.bb.
reduce pay package at the end of the week. These issues concern me. There is no our economic one in Barbados who did fortunes. I must not expect some austerity admit that after in light of the burgeoning these few weeks fiscal deficit in the have passed I country, yet we needed our am now more government to ensure that confused than its implementation of said before as to the policies take into account direction we are LAST WORD the need to be transparent headed. FROM THE CEO and to build the confidence After reading of the public that these in the press of the ‘errors’ matters will be appropriately that seem to have occurred handled. relative to the solid waste And what about small and stabilization taxes, the businesses? The SBA has ability to maintain confidence within its membership is now challenged. Secondly, businesses directly involved the experiences by so many in tourism and with linkages temporary public sector to the tourism sector. So we workers relative to their are grateful for the tax ease reduce take-home pay (albeit and concessions given to the Minister of Finance did this industry. Likewise we speak to measures relative are cognisant of the push to to substitute and temporary energise the renewable energy worker), begs the question sector. The reality is however if government could not that the gains to be had from have handle the matter more this latter sector are in the transparently. Was it possible distant future. to have met with labour representatives and discuss I am therefore concern because the implications and timelines I have yet to hear one single of this change? Instead of strategy for the development of workers having a justifiable the micro, small and medium expectation, having worked enterprise sector, which we are during the period, to receive a told conservatively represent
15% of our economy. I say this within the context of the many SMEs operating within the construction sector, agri-business, ICT, transport, professional and general services, and those either exporting or on the cusp of exporting. We are also operating within the context of a technologically driven international business environment and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012) challenges our business community to become more sophisticated and innovative. Where then are the policies to enhance those exporting businesses? What about the e-commerce platform that the sector so desperately needs to be more competitive? How far along is government in the use of technology to facilitate business development? Having heard nothing that addresses these critical areas for the immediate term and to support SMEs that will struggle to survive from the reduce disposal income of consumers, I am very cautious that the trajectory we are on will enable the sustainability of our many small businesses