Showroom on stream

Attendees at today’s launch of the Small Business Smart campaign in Heroes Square.

The Government of Barbados is on the verge of establishing a showroom facility for micro, small and medium size businesses.

Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, made the disclosure this morning, as he launched the SME SMART Programme of the Small Business Association of Barbados in Heroes Square.

Kellman said his ministry was working assiduously to move this thinking from the idea stage to one of action. He revealed that the facility would be located on the site of the former Workbench Furniture Company on Spring Garden Highway.

“The showroom will bring a number of similar businesses together to offer their product to the wider public and at the same time, promote the Bajan Brand. Clustering and networking is also a feature of the Competitiveness Programme being undertaken by Barbados, with the Inter-American Development Bank,” added the minister.

Kellman said that one of the ideas which had emerged in seeking to develop the small business

sector, was that of clustering and networking. “Business networks and clusters have become an innovative and proven business practice which

develops cooperation between small and medium sized businesses, enabling them to gain a substantial competitive advantage,” Kellman said.

He noted, too, that the results of recent research facilitated by his ministry, confirmed that further improvements to the operating environment could achieve greater growth and contribute to national goals.

However, Kellman suggested all of that could only be realised if adjustments were made to the Small Business Development Act, the system for enterprise development support, and the rationalisation of the business start-up and support process.

“Being guided by this research, you can rest assured that the Ministry of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development will be acting on the recommendations,” minister added.

He disclosed that work had already started with respect to the re-examining of the act, with a view to positively influencing its impact on the sector. Kellman pledged his ministry’s support for the Small Business Smart Campaign, acknowledging the effort as another step towards strengthening the capacity of the sector and enterprise development.

“Since assuming responsibility for this ministry, we have over the last few months, met with a myriad of SMEs to look at he challenges retarding their ability to grow and how the identified barriers can be

removed or their impact reduced,” Kellman said. “We noted,” he continued, “their keen interest

in implementing ideas for the expansion of their businesses since, of course, growth is equated with progress and growth is often used as an indicator of the effectiveness of these small businesses.” (EJ)

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