Newly appointed Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman is urging retailers and consumers to support local producers.
The Minister made this plea while addressing staff of the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC), before touring the Princess Alice Highway office yesterday, for the first in a series of familiarisation tours.
Mr. Kellman stated that the support which was once granted to local producers has now dwindled possibly due to the influx of imported goods.
??"Competition has taken over Barbados and our producers now have more competitors than people to supply. Therefore, we have to find a way to recreate that local market," he asserted.
In emphasising the importance of every local business, the Industry Minister pointed out that for each non-operational business there was a reduction in the island’s Gross Domestic Product. He told BIDC personnel, including Deputy Chairman Villeneuve Greaves and Chief Executive Officer (Ag.) Sonja Trotman, that it was their priority to ensure that all local producers remain on the production line.
"Our job…is to ensure that everyone is doing well. When a person is not doing well we do not have to drop them, we must do everything to ensure that they do well. We cannot do anything about someone who is not producing and does not want to produce; but for someone who is still in production, we must find a way to hold his hand and help him up," Mr. Kellman stressed.
He cited the need for a well-designed marketplace to be established to better display the producers’ goods. "If it means that we have to take one of the best buildings and convert it so that the consumers can get the product then we must do it. The important thing is to recapture the market," Mr. Kellman affirmed.