Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds. (GP)

Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, has praised the setting up of the newly formed Bajan Alliance of Businesses, and said it serves as a testimony to the resilience of the small business sector.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the Alliance recently, the Minister said such an association represented “people being bold enough to face the deep waters and swim and swim as though your life depended on it”.

In offering congratulations, the Minister reminded his audience that COVID-19 had been the ultimate “game changer” for lives and livelihoods. 

He said Barbadians and businesses here survived the last 30 months of doing things differently, by adapting to the changes in the environment.

The Energy and Small Business Minister challenged the sector to evolve and adapt to help their enterprises succeed.

“At the core of any future success that you will have will be your ability and willingness to continue, irrespective of what policy prescription I may come up with as Minister, regardless of what legislative or institutional reform the Government may implement,” he stated.

Minister Symmonds continued: “All will fail, if you, as the entrepreneur, are not willing to constantly re-assess and re-evaluate where you stand, and how you do those things that you do, so as to ensure that you continue to evolve, adapt and remain relevant in the market place, and I sincerely hope that we can all agree on that.”

He gave the commitment that Government would continue to partner with the sector to ensure that it evolved to “be the things that we want as a Government for the people of Barbados, and for the nation of Barbados to represent”.

“We want, for example, with respect to micro businesses that they become small businesses, in other words that they grow in their capacity. We want for the smaller businesses to become medium-sized businesses, and ultimately reach wherever the structure allows; reach an export level platform that ideally is the target that we wish to promote,” he emphasised.

Mr. Symmonds further pointed out: “I would be the first to accept that it is not possible for every business to reach an export level platform, but the reality is that even if your business does not lend itself to being exportable, then I feel that I must urge you, at a minimum, that your target should be to be as competitively viable as possible.”

The Minister pledged his Ministry’s full support to the Alliance, and gave the assurance that they would never walk alone and that he had an open door policy with respect to business development assistance for its members.

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