When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, it showed Barbados the kind of companies that could move quickly to transform to a digital environment.
Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle acknowledged this today while addressing the first virtual format of the Royal Fidelity Economic Outlook Conference on the theme: Global Digital Disruption – Threats/Opportunities.
Observing that larger companies with capital and brand recognition easily acquired a fleet of food delivery vehicles and paid for the tech support to throw up an online platform overnight, Minister Caddle said this was less so for small retailers and even less so for sole proprietor businesses selling unique product or services.
She, however, pointed out that Barbados had introduced its COVID-19 economic recovery measures for small businesses, allowing them to get cash in their hands.
While adding that it was observed that a percentage of those resources were invested in the most basic of technologies, Ms. Caddle remarked: “People bought smart phones with decent cameras; they got bank or other financial institution or payment system accounts. They got an Instagram account and just like that, they were in online, retail, or services.
“We watched that process to develop a blue print for what businesses need, at least to survive and work from there, to figure out what they need to thrive and how to make sure that they get those things more quickly.”