BIDC rent arrears a huge headache

If Minister of Commerce and Industry Donville Inniss had his way perpetual defaulters on rent to the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) would be locked out.

With close to $10 million owed to the corporation by tenants occupying its industrial estates across the island, Inniss said although the BIDC was not just a landlord it should still be able to collect what it was owed.

Donville Inniss
Donville Inniss

“There will always be a few who, no matter how well they are doing, take an attitude that it is Government and therefore they should not pay rent. My view with such individuals is that you go and you lock the doors and keep them out,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters following today’s tour of garment manufacturer River Bay Trading, located in the BIDC’s Wildey Industrial Estate, St Michael. The company boasts of being up to date on all its payments, including rent and taxes to Government.

Noting that the amount owed to the BIDC was “not a little bit of money”, Inniss said an analysis was needed to find out why delinquent tenants were not able to pay and to “see what can be done to assist” them.

The minister said he believed most entrepreneurs were willing to make an effort to pay their bills, but acknowledged they might fall behind because they were waiting for refunds from Government.

“So it cuts both ways. So whilst I say those who are tenants must pay and should pay I am always mindful there are a few instances where the difficulty is understood,” he said.

The BIDC manages about 12 industrial estates comprising 70 commercial buildings. In addition, there are eight buildings that house more than 20 craft shops and a restaurant. In total there are more than 300 separate units in the corporation’s buildings.

Last month chief executive officer of the BIDC Dr Leroy McCLean told Barbados TODAY that companies that continued to renege on their payment arrangements would soon have to move out.

McClean did not say what measures would be taken or how soon.

Inniss told reporters he was also concerned about the level of grants that were being given to some businesses by the BIDC and he had raised the issue with the board.

“We have to ensure that . . . wherever decisions are made to give a grant that it is a very sound decision because I am concerned about some of those entities that receive large sums of money from the BIDC in the past and have nothing to show from it. My directive to the board is to tighten up some of these handouts and grants and ensure that wherever they are done they are done in a manner and to companies that will bring benefit to this economy,” informed Inniss.


8 Responses to BIDC rent arrears a huge headache

  1. Todd Forde
    Todd Forde August 28, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Yes lock them out, if they don’t pay the RENT

  2. Todd Forde
    Todd Forde August 28, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Yuh hear that Barrack

  3. Wayne P Hoyte
    Wayne P Hoyte August 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

    There should be a move by the Gov to put rent control measures in place making easier for businesses and tenants who rent spaces both commercial and residential.

    Some of the rates for some spaces are to high and some even lack the necessary security and safety requirements.

    • Robert Foster
      Robert Foster August 28, 2014 at 9:33 am

      How much cheaper than “free” do you want it? Because that is what many are paying now according to teh Minister.

  4. Edwards Swindley
    Edwards Swindley August 28, 2014 at 7:27 am


  5. Robert Foster
    Robert Foster August 28, 2014 at 9:44 am

    You can’t let it slide Minister. If you haven’t collected the rent during all this time you think you ever will? Write it off and start fresh with a new approach.

  6. Francis McClean
    Francis McClean August 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

    If they are owed a refund and they owe rent apply the refund to what they owe.

  7. mac10 August 28, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Minister Inniss, if the BIDC is owed $10million by it’s tenants, then yes, the business are at fault for not paying but so also is the BIDC staff & management for not being on top of their responsibilities to their clients, the government & the tax payers.

    Debts do not get to that figure overnight, therefore the BIDC have be irresponsibly lapse in their duties & responsibilities.

    If the government was more visible & prompt about paying what they owe the people of Barbados i.e. Al Barrack, Tax refunds etc then maybe the people would be more inclined to pay what they owe . As it stands government seems to take any opportunity not to pay what is owed by them. Do not blame the people & small businesses that are trying to keep Barbados afloat from doing the same.


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