Budget disappoints SME sector

Last week’s Budget is a disappointment to Barbadian small and medium enterprises.

Although noting that some of the contents of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals would benefit the sector, Small Business Association Chief Executive Officer Lynette Holder today said the measures did not offer the people she represented enough help.

SBA officials noted too that some SMEs had already personally voiced their disappointment. “The SME sector generally will benefit from improvements in the tourism industry, particularly small properties, entertainment, recreation and agriculture, but access to capital and business development services remain a barrier to this sector,” Holder said.

She noted that these were all issues SBA members continued to highlight as major concerns to their overall competitiveness.

The CEO added, however, that there were areas of importance for Barbados’ smallest businesses that the Budget did not touch.

“It is regrettable that in an age of technology, there was no mention of policy initiatives to address e-commerce or acces to technological tools,” she said.

“Also, capacity building for those firms looking to do business in overseas markets is a dire problem particularly as the larger markets continue to implement strict regulations to safeguard their citizens while putting pressure on small exporters in Barbados and the Caribbean”.

In the wake of the Sinckler’s presentation the SBA will hold a “town hall style” members meeting next Tuesday as it seeks to “address some of the burning issues and expectations from the sector”.

It will include a panel which will speak under the theme Budget 2013 – What’s In It For SMEs, with panelists including Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Denis Kellman, and Economist Clyde Mascoll, a former Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. (SC)

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