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Small business wronged

Opposition Leader Owen Arthur speaking last night at Sayes Court, Christ Church.

The biggest shame in Barbados is what is happening to small business.

Identifying some of the contributions a Barbados Labour Party government had made to small business, Opposition Leader Owen Arthur disclosed that the headquarters on Fontabelle had been built by his party.

Addressing a mass meeting at Sayes Court, Christ Church last night, Arthur further disclosed that every year Barbadians paid to run the Small Business Secretariat. He said his administration came to office and found no legislation in respect of the small business sector. The St. Peter MP said his government put in place the legislation to enable the small business sector to pay taxes not at 40 per cent like other companies, but at 12.5 per cent.

He further stated that his administration created Fund Access and Enterprise Growth Fund to lend money to small business people. Arthur said that his administration created the Urban Development Commission and Rural Development Commission as well to ensure that small businessmen would be able to help themselves, and charged that what was being done now to small businesses and small contractors in Christ Church was wrong.

“What is happening in Christ Church is an abomination. One thousand houses are to be built. What we did at West Terrace, and West Terrace Gardens … we took the work and shared it up among small people. One man will be doing the 1,000 houses. These things are wrong,” Arthur said.

Reading from the Government’s Economic Report for 2011, Arthur said no new small businesses were created through the assistance of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and only 27 jobs were created in manufacturing, agriculture and whatever else the small business sector was engaged in.

Arthur said though that he did not know how many jobs were lost during the period covered by the report. (NC)

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