Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, has renewed his call for the establishment of a collateral registry.
He made the appeal while addressing the Small Business Association’s State of the Sector Conference at Hilton Barbados, which was streamed live on Facebook and Zoom.
Mr. Symmonds disclosed that his Ministry had been working with the University of the West Indies and IMPACT Justice to develop a moveable assets or collateral registry for the sector.
This registry, he explained, would allow small businesses on a web-based platform to register charges and collateral assets as security for credit facilities from financial institutions.
Mr. Symmonds argued that there was a greater understanding about the importance of such a registry globally, as highlighted by a World Bank Report, which states that approximately 80 per cent of the capital stock of small and micro businesses, globally, was held in moveable assets.
“To get to that point, obviously, is a heroic undertaking. This institution would provide for the recognition and usage of a wider scope of assets in Barbados and that, in my judgement, is where we have to go,” he stressed.
Mr. Symmonds further stated: “For too long, I think the entrepreneurial impulse of the micro and small business people of this country has been blunted by the cry that they are unable to access loans and unable to access capital. For most micro and small entrepreneurs, they may not be able to present to a financial institution title deeds for real estate, but what they do have are accounts receivable; what they do have in some instances are intellectual property rights, in many cases they have vehicles, equipment, livestock, all of these assets have value…. All of those assets can in some parts of the world be registered and used as collateral.”
The Energy and Small Business Minister pointed out that the time had come for the country to take the next step in conversations about resilience and “break the shackles which hold back and restrain the entrepreneurial impulse of our business people”.