Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman (foreground, right) and Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett (background) sample some of the items on display at the Health Fair. (S. Medford/BGIS)??

A full programme of the initiatives to be undertaken by the Ministry of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development will soon "be rolled out".

This was announced by Minister Denis Kellman, as he addressed a Health Fair and Market Day which was hosted by the St. Peter Constituency Council at the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. car park in Speightstown, last weekend.

Mr. Kellman affirmed that during the new fiscal year the Ministry would be seeking to further enhance the small business sector, and there would be a review of the Small Business Development Act which would be followed by amendments to make it more inclusive.

"[Other] initiatives include the establishment and management of a sector database through which the growth of the sector can be monitored; and the establishment of a Small Business Development Centre with the view to creating a one- stop shop for small businesses where their various challenges can be addressed, advice given and information shared," Minister Kellman disclosed. He pointed out that assistance with these projects would be provided from the Organization of American States, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

"We are also looking at the introduction of a clustering model to create greater economies of scale for small manufacturers to enhance their competitiveness," the Industry Minister noted.

He also alluded to plans to revamp the poultry industry which he deemed as "one of the most successful rural enterprises in Barbados".

"This industry is fuelled by many contract growers who are small business persons and the Ministry will do all in its power to protect them.?? This is a local livelihood that will not be threatened. There is too much at stake. We can guarantee the production of a quality product here in Barbados, but we cannot do the same for that coming from elsewhere, neither from a health perspective nor that of taste," the Minister asserted.


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