Participants at the Rural Development Commission’s small business seminar on record keeping, today at the Valley Resource Centre, Glebe, St. George. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, is of the view that small business entrepreneurs need to pay more attention to record keeping.

Stresses this today at a seminar which was hosted by the Rural Development Commission (RDC), for 60 of its clients, at the Valley Resource Centre, Glebe, St. George.

The Minister said that "the running of a business brings with it certain obligations which can only be adequately met if records are kept".

Alluding to the payment of Income Tax, he noted: "If improper records of sales of products or services are kept, or records pertaining to expenses incurred by the business, the entrepreneur would find it very difficult to fill out his income tax form and file a tax return.?? This means that many small businesses do not file tax returns."

He added that failure to file tax returns would not only negatively affect the revenue of the country but "it [would affect] international relations when Barbados is seeking to negotiate Double Taxation Treaties and the like."

Minister Kellman further warned participants that "poor record keeping can ultimately be a barrier to small entrepreneurs benefitting from the many programmes available that are designed to assist them in taking their businesses to the next level." He made reference to the National Micro Enterprise Grant Funding Programme and disclosed that some applicants were unable to declare the income of their company, while others provided inaccurate figures.??

The Rural Development Minister also pointed out that inadequate record keeping could result in the loss of customers. Giving the example of a business that repairs computers or appliances, he said, "failure to accurately record the information received, as to which customer brought in which gadget, or the problem he or she is experiencing that needs to be fixed, could create confusion.

"Gadgets can be misplaced or the wrong person can be billed for services rendered, to name a few.?? As a result, the customer who suffered from the inefficiency may never give you business again.?? What is worse, he or she may spread the news that you are not operating efficiently."

Mr. Kellman, therefore, underscored the importance of the RDC seminar, which was aimed at assisting its clients with effective management of records, whether financial or otherwise. He deemed the event as "timely…as every strategy to improve efficiency and promote sustainability must be employed during this time of global economic recession".


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