Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson is concerned about a paucity of statistical information on the small and micro business sectors.
He voiced this concern while addressing the City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Limited’s (COB) Small Business Initiative Programme at Accra Beach Hotel Rockley, Christ Church, recently.
Mr. Huston said policy makers had been complaining about a lack of conclusive data on the small and micro business sectors and he promised to correct this deficiency.
He told the large gathering that the Ministry of Trade would be working closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat to create a networking and database strategy for the sector to address this situation.
“In this regard, we hope that the Small Business Association and the Barbados Manufacturers Association will work with the Ministry to facilitate speedy completion of this project,” he added.The Minister of Trade further stated that a recent familiarisation tour of small businesses highlighted the need for increased productivity in small business operations through the use of modern production methodologies.
“Not only was it [the tour] instructive, but highlighted a sector that is vulnerable and unsustainable if technological solutions are not adopted sooner rather than later.
“This tour further highlighted the fact that our industrial sector needs to upgrade production methodologies which will lead to improvement in production efficiencies, increased output and enhanced competitiveness,” Mr. Huston stressed.
He also challenged the sector to revive its competitive spirit to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that would enhance the small business sector.
“Opportunities exist for small businesses to work together to their mutual benefit and appropriate business models along co-operative lines could be set up or jointly owned for collective purchase of raw materials as cost effective measures, he said.
The Minister of Trade praised COB for launching the programme and advised the organization to continually review and evaluate the progress and impact of the Small Business Initiative when it is implemented.