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Cut-throat Bajans

Minister of Health Donville Inniss (left) and Chairman and CEO of ShopSmart Wallace Griffith after the presentation of medical equipment.

Jealousy and envy within corporate Barbados is hurting sections of the island’s “coloured private sector”. Saying he was being frank about the issue, Minister of Health Donville Inniss made that assertion today.

“I am very disappointed in today’s age we still labour over the issue of a great level of jealousy and envy that permeates some parts of our colored private sector,” he said at the re-launch of local buying club ShopSmart.

“I will be very frank when I am saying that I am still hearing too many stories of indigenous entrepreneurs who feel that they are being treated in a certain way or their businesses do not enjoy a level of support because of who they are or the colour of their skin.

“And I would have thought that being an educated and enlightened society that would be a thing of the past, but I believe it is still somewhat there lingering in the back and I hope that we can, going forward, put that behind us as a society,” the minister added.

Inniss said having worked in the international business environment for several years he believed Barbados “must continue to attract foreign investment, but at the same time I have great faith in our people, I have great faith in Barbadians, white Barbadians and black Barbadians and other races in coming together and providing a service. But this can only succeed if we as a people are also committed to our own.”

Inniss, who also received donation of medical equipment from ShopSmart in association with the Barbados Association of Central Florida during the event at ShopSmart Cheapside, praised the company’s management and staff “for having stayed the course and reaching 12 years” of operations.

“Your concept that has evolved over the last couple of years I believe has worked very well for the average Barbadian families in this society. I am very mindful, having worked in the international finance and business arena for almost 20 years, of the need for consumers to get the best prices and certainly that can only be done if you as investors find suppliers that are consistent in quality as well as delivery, but more importantly in terms of prices as well,” he stated.

“I am very mindful that the investors in ShopSmart do make the effort to find items at the best prices at the source market, in many respects perhaps reducing the involvement of middle men and other costs that would normally be attributed thereof and you have been able to pass on these savings to your consumers here in Barbados.

“This is what I believe more private sector enterprises should be doing in this country. As we continue to grapple with the challenges of the global economic situation and as Barbados continues to pull itself out of this mire and put itself on a path for sustainable development our private sector must think outside of the box, be very creative and to find ways of delivering goods and services at the best possible prices,” he added. (SC)

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