“Inspection and disrespect” for a small businessman

DEMOCRATIC Labor Party (DLP) spokesperson for small business and entrepreneurship Ryan Walters is not impressed with the offer for small businesses in Barbados as it was described on day one estimates yesterday.

In responding to the 2021-2022 estimates – which addressed small businesses and entrepreneurship yesterday morning, Walters said the presentation by the minister at the head of that ministry, Kerrie Symmonds, confirmed that the government had failed to intention to go above and beyond to empower ordinary Bajans. .

In a statement released last night, Walters said, “The Estimates have allocated $ 10 million. This is less than what was given to the small business community in the 2018 budget, before the pandemic. It is a shame and an insult.

“It further confirms that the government has no interest in restructuring the economy, even after the pandemic has provided them with a perfect opportunity to do so.”

He disputed that this follows the trend of “contempt and disrespect” inflicted on the small businessman in this administration. “The ‘little man’ had to wait a year before being offered $ 250 a week to be closed. Until today, the government is behind on these payments! And many have been threatened with jail time and left at sea. In addition, the government has promised store owners $ 750 a week and last week we learned that it was reduced to $ 500.

“The break has been extended and micro-businesses will not be compensated for that time. Yet we hear Minister Symmonds using phrases like “the government is embarking on a heroic enterprise” … Even the promoters of the New Year’s Night events have yet to be compensated as promised for their cancellation. events … And there are other examples. He took issue with all of this happening when, in other spaces, $ 300 million is still on offer and continues to be available to large companies, which he says would be greatly appreciated by micro and small. companies in the country. Walters said the government brags about borrowing at one percent maximum, yet lending small businesses at five percent. “Once again, taking full advantage of the little man’s efforts,” he said.

“Make no mistake, the credit union offers micro-business loans at an interest rate of 5.5%. The point is, the government is not doing anything spectacular for the industry.

“The government needs to move towards making much more capital available to the sector and at more competitive interest rates, if at all. A more progressive financing model for micro and small enterprises should be adopted. The facilitation of venture capital financing rather than 100 percent loan financing should be included. There has to be an element of risk and investment on the part of government if the sector is to thrive and generate economic gains down the road.

“I always like to remind everyone that micro and small businesses represent about 92 percent of businesses and 60 percent of private sector employment.

“A government that does not invest in its people will fail. All we ask is to invest in our people, their children and their children’s children.

The DLP spokesman lamented that since taking office, the government has taken more from the “ordinary” man than it has given. “They have increased bus fares, they have introduced a wastewater tax and a gas tax. They have increased contributions to NIS… to name a few things. In addition, they have restructured the public debt owed to the NIS, which will result in a loss of almost a billion dollars for the Bajans and our pensions are affected … but on the other hand, they have given almost a billion dollars to big business by canceling VAT collected from taxpayers on behalf of the government, but never paid.

“Today, where micro and small businesses are in difficulty or are closing, large companies are laying off workers, a hotel sector on hiatus with severance pay still owed to workers and exhausted unemployment claims, where is the will to empower our people? Walters inquired.

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