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Mixed fortunes

Not the best of times for some small businesses

Operators of small and medium sized enterprises have been giving mixed reviews about the state of business in Barbados.

Some of them spoke to Barbados TODAY when they and other Small Business Association (SBA) members and officials took a trip around the island thursday, introducing their products and services to Barbadians. The occasion was the SBA’s annual bus tour and promotion – one of the activities for Small Business Week 2016.

The members of the Small Business Association during their Bajan Bus tour.

The members of the Small Business Association during their Bajan Bus tour.

Members of the Small Business Association on their way to Speightstown.

Members of the Small Business Association on their way to Speightstown.

Members of the Small Business Association mingling in Speightstown.

Members of the Small Business Association mingling in Speightstown.

Lorna Williams, owner of Traditional Confectionery and Preserves, reported that the market was fluctuating.

“It has its highs and lows,” shared the businesswoman.

She said securing funds and materials was a challenge because of the seasonal nature of her work.

“Yes, you can go around and you can put up certain stuff. The sweets are okay, but you need quality material to work with because [the products] are standing on the shelf for a period of time,” said Williams, an entrepreneur for the past ten years.

She contended that more assistance was needed for small business owners like her.

“You need that help out there and you are not getting it one way or the other,” Williams lamented.

Fabian Gibson of Fabi’s Auto Services said he was experiencing some challenges but predicted there would be brighter days ahead in 2017.

Fabian Gibbons of Fabi’s Auto Services.

Fabian Gibbons of Fabi’s Auto Services.

“The economy [has] a lot of small businesses a little tight. I believe that it also affects me a bit too, but I continue to press on and push myself through the waters,” he said.

“Business for me is okay. My target market is a lot of commercial companies such as car rental companies and stuff like that but I can say that it’s okay for me. I forecast that it’s going to be a lot better for me by the end of the year and coming into 2017.”

Meanwhile, owner of Miracle Balm, Carlos Jones, and Stacey Medford of Fast Cash boasted of business being good and spoke about expectations of additional growth.

Carlos Jones, owner of Miracle Balm.

Carlos Jones, owner of Miracle Balm.

Jones shared that his four-year-old natural herbal company was doing well.

“It has been challenging at times but we’ve been very aggressive and we have a product that works extremely well, so we’re finding now that Miracle Balm is gaining some traction in Barbados,”
he said.

Jones went on to commend the Government for introducing the Small Business Grant Fund. He said it would provide the cash injection needed
to help small businesses “get to the next step”.

Medford said Fast Cash, which has been open for two and a half years, has been well-received by locals.

With good patronage during Crop Over and the back-to-school season, she said expectations for the end of the year were high.

“I think it’s only going to get bigger and better. We have new clients coming in everyday and I think that’s the way it is going to continue.”

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