Give them time
Sir Kyffin makes appeal to Barbadians on behalf of Government
Business mogul Sir Kyffin Simpson wants Barbadians to give the Government they elected a chance to get the economy right.
While acknowledging that it was tough for many people given the difficult period which the economy is going through, he said he felt the Freundel Stuart administration was doing what was necessary, slowly but surely.
“We just have to have faith in our leadership that we elected. I think the economy is fixable and for sure, sooner or later I think we will be seeing it getting fixed,” Sir Kyffin, one of the Caribbean’s most successful entrepreneurs, said in a rare interview at the weekend with Barbados TODAY.
Saying that Government could not do all it wanted for lower income earners now given that it has to spend 70 cents of every dollar it earns, the businessman suggested that residents just had to hold strain.
“I think we have no alternative but to hold on and give the opportunity and the time and we’ll see how it develops. They are making and taking steps that they should take and we just have to ride with it and go at their pace. They obviously don’t want to go too fast because they don’t want to bring anymore [discomfort] to the people who are already hurting a little bit,” he said.
Sir Kyffin, who founded car dealership Simpson Motors, said his industry had not been immune to the economic troubles.
He noted that new car sales had dropped 59 per cent since 2008.
“So it has contracted quite a lot,” the businessman said.
Sir Kyffin was speaking to Barbados TODAY during the premiere of local film Vigilante – The Crossing at Limegrove Cinemas.
He said films of that high quality could do good for other filmmakers and the economy as well.
“This show is so well done and beautifully promoted that I think it will give a lot of people a lot of encouragement that they can do the same and better maybe,” he said.
“I think it is a good opportunity, I think there is a lot of talent in Barbados in this area and a lot of people have been doing a lot of smaller works and this would be a big opportunity to show that they can do to bigger things,” he added, noting that corporate sponsorship was very much needed.
Another leading businessman, Ralph Bizzy Williams, also said the film industry could contribute to economic recovery.
“There is tremendous potential for Barbadian films on the world scene and we have to innovate in this island and do things that we’ve never done before in order to sustain our economy and our standard of living,” he told Barbados TODAY.
“We have seen what Rihanna was able to do and we have lots of talent in Barbados . . . A good movie on the world stage coming from Barbados would put Barbados further on the map than it already is. Barbados is a very strong brand worldwide and to have a film produced in Barbados and a hit on the world stage would be my dream come true.”
His Williams Industries was the main sponsor for the film. It has been making that type of contribution for over 20 years and Williams said that once finances allowed, he would continue to do so.