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The Acting Registrar of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies, Richard Harris, has offered a number of tips to members of the Barbados Contractors and Artisans Co-operative Society Limited on how to remain relevant.

He made the suggestions during a ceremony to formally launch the Co-operative at Infinity on the Beach Hotel, Dover, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, recently. 

Quoting By-law 5A of the Contractors Co-operative Society, Mr. Harris said the board of the Contractors Co-operative Society must find innovative solutions to obtain contracts for its members.

“This may not be an easy task during times of COVID-19 which compounded with other negative economic setbacks, for Barbados, has slowed down the construction industry,” he said.

He further stated that the association, which registered its operations under a year ago, had not been operating for several months during the lockdown.

The Acting Registrar suggested that the more than 200 members of the association must undertake an aggressive marketing programme by “knocking on as many doors in their communities, in the public and private sector and on social media to discuss their existence and the services provided and a business card with their contact information”.

Mr. Harris continued: “The society is your business and you all must become sales persons through hard work and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure its success.”

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Referencing By-law 5 (I) of the Artisans Co-op Society, which states that members must be educated to incorporate values, principles and methods for efficient management of their affairs, the Acting Registrar urged members of the body to become each other’s keeper.

Mr. Harris added: “Members should not act selfishly and bring the society into disrepute. Characteristics such as honesty, reliability and good manners should be present.

You also need to build the society by purchasing shares in order to capitalise it on a regular basis where possible. Remember, the society is for your benefit under the laws of Barbados. Proper capitalisation means that the board can lend to members at a cheaper rate of interest for tools…bid on contracts and pay dividends to members if the society becomes profitable.”

He also urged members to inform the credit union about their services, perform their duties well and he gave the undertaking that the Co-operatives Department would play its role by educating members through partnerships with stakeholders.

Mr. Harris also advised the members to take advantage of services offered through other cooperative agencies such as the Co-operative Society Investment Fund Limited and the Barbados Co-operative Business Society.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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