Barbados’ entry to the e-commerce trading platform will soon be facilitated through the implementation of a National Information Communication Strategy.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, George Hutson, alluded to this strategy aimed at revolutionising the country’s trading platform, while delivering the feature address at the Small Business Association’s (SBA), 15th Anniversary Dinner and awards ceremony last Saturday.  The event took place at Hilton Barbados.

He told the large gathering that a review of the strategy was in the final stages and appealed to small entrepreneurs to embrace information technology as a means of boosting the productivity of their enterprises.

“ICT’s [Information Communication Technologies] are indispensible tools in fostering productivity and innovation which, in turn, will spur on growth and prosperity.  Thus, the short history of electronic commerce shows that small innovative enterprises can compete on an equal footing with large established enterprises,” Mr. Huston stressed.

The Minister of Trade also revealed that Government had commissioned a study to collect data on the small business sector to correct a paucity of information on the sector.

Mr. Hutson said this deficiency had led to the enactment of some policies by Government  that were based on “guesstimates”.   

“We cannot afford to operate in a situation where policy programming is built on “guesstimates” and gut-feeling.  So, we have to operate from a position of knowledge and an informed plan. It is only through research that Government will be able to develop and implement a clear set of policies and programme initiatives to enable Barbados to respond appropriately to these new circumstances,” he declared.

During the ceremony, some SBA members were presented with awards for their  outstanding contribution to the organisation and the sector in general.

Among the awardees were Deighton Babb, who copped the President’s Award and Peter Downes, Managing Director of Profiles Caribbean Incorporated, who received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. Downes will also receive technical assistance from the SBA to the tune of $10, 000.

The SBA also honoured staff and past presidents for their sterling service to the organisation.

Lianda Chapman, the SBA’s Research and Information Officer, received the Most Improved Employee Award, and her colleague, Donnah Russell, the Employee of the Year Award.

Founding President of the SBA, John Watson, received an award for steering the organisation during its formative years in the 1970’s.

Former President of the SBA, Sandra Husbands, who was instrumental in leading the organisation on a path of growth, was commended for her dedication to the sector.

The contributions of former presidents, including Muhammed Nassar and Dennis Tull were also recognized.

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