Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson

There is a promise from government to “remove the stumbling blocks” that have impeded businesses from gaining access to developmental capital from financial institutions.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson, gave this pledge to the manufacturing sector and said: “If there are any obstacles in the way, we will look at mechanisms to see how we can get those funds to them.”

He told reporters during a press conference ahead of a tour of Mount Gay Distilleries Inc’s facilities at Spring Garden, St Michael, and at Mount Gay, St Lucy, on Monday.

Mr. Huston heard first-hand the challenges that businesses faced from Mount Gay’s Supply Chain Director, Wallace Edinboro, who expressed concern about accessing the funds that had been allocated for the Rum Industry by the Caribbean Development Bank.

Even though the cash was channelled through the Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) and commercial banks for disbursement, Mr. Edinboro said the borrower would then have to pay interest rate charges of two percent from the CBB and a further three percent from the “intermediary banks”.

“My interest is to obtain financing through a government agency. So, we need to cut out the “intermediary banks” and have the money channelled directly through an institution like the BIDC, where we can have access to the money,” he maintained.

Mr. Hutson said it was imperative for those involved in the manufacturing sector to have access to adequate funding to improve their output.

“We [Government] have been trying to encourage the manufacturing sector to look for innovative ways to re-evaluate their own productive cycles in order to increase their own productive capabilities,” he declared.

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