Minister of Industry Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman?? (FP)

There is a clear relationship between small business development and economic growth, since in most countries these enterprises make a significant contribution to national development, generating employment and even foreign exchange.

So says Minister of Industry Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, as he addressed the opening ceremony for Gentle Loving Care Senior Citizens Home and Day Care Centre in St. Thomas last Saturday.

In commending the owners for creating the facility, Mr Kellman said: "Many small businesses begin as an idea which is born out of an observed need. The entrepreneur, having identified the gap in the market place, or the commercial opportunity, turns this idea into a marketable product or service.?? Many of these businesses meet the local needs of their communities, such as this venture will be seeking to do.?? Therefore, as a people, we should understand and recognise the valuable contributions made by small businesses at all levels of society. "

He expressed satisfaction that "even in the throes of one of the world’s worst recessions since the 1930’s "that small businesses were either starting up or expanding. He identified this as something positive for the economy since these enterprises would continue to "keep the engines of economic growth spinning".??

"As the fastest growing sector in Barbados, and the fastest creator of jobs in recent times, it is perhaps our road to travel out of this recession which we rightfully saw as a challenge.?? That is why we [Government] set about creating the enabling environment needed to facilitate growth in the sector.?? ???Small business’ for us is not a buzz word.?? We understand its importance.?? That is why we had the vision to create a Ministry which targeted the sector," he underscored.

In terms of providing business persons with access to finance, Mr Kellman noted that his ministry would continue to address this issue through its various agencies including the Small Business Development Unit, Fund Access, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, and the Rural Development Commission.

In conclusion, he advised the owners that it was their responsibility to see that their business succeeded since there were no short cuts to success. "It requires dedication, commitment and a vision going forward.?? Learn from your mistakes, make the necessary changes and meet the various challenges which any successful business must face during its existence," he said.

In addition, the Minister reminded them that they were dealing with vulnerable persons, who should be cherished and treated well and that the facility should be a haven of safety for seniors.??

It is projected that by the year 2025, 20 per cent of the population in Barbados will be over the age of 65.


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