Small businesses facing possible closure – BCSI

One private sector organization is worried a number of small businesses will be forced to go under unless there is a turnaround soon in the country’s economy.

The Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) said the market remained “a bit tight” and many businesses simply could not hold on much longer if the economy did not improve.

Executive Director Graham Clarke told Barbados TODAY one of the major concerns of service providers was the slow pace at which cash was flowing through the system.

“Many businesses are getting longer periods where they are actually being paid and are struggling in some sense to maintain their business activity.

“We all hope that these fiscal challenges will come to an end pretty soon and that we will begin to see some positive changes, not just in the local economy but in the world economy. . .  so that we can begin to breathe a sigh of relief. I mean, it has been eight years now that this recession has been going on. It is extremely difficult I think for business to survive in this environment where there is attrition and lack of business coming,” he said.

Clarke, who assumed the executive position in July this year, said while some of the more established businesses were themselves feeling the effects of the economic downturn, it was the newer businesses that were “closer to the edge” because they did not have the required capital to sustain their operations.

“I think those companies, the smaller companies, the ones that are more in their embryonic stages would be the ones that are struggling most of all, and perhaps if it continues you may see that a lot of these businesses actually go off the radar because they can’t sustain losses for an indefinite period,” he warned.

This notwithstanding, the BCSI boss said some of the companies at risk were exploring innovative ways to remain afloat, including non-traditional revenue earning methods.

“Rather than sitting back on their laurels and feeling like ‘this is my product or this is my service’, people are looking to see how they can have some product extensions and to try other things to give them the income necessary to survive in this marketplace,” he said.

Clarke complained about the time it has taken to solve the problem, saying his wish for 2017 was that all the relevant forces would combine their energies to confront the issues facing the country.

“We are taking too long to find solutions and we are not solving these problems in the collaborative way that I think we need to solve [ them]. One wish I would like to see is that we do better at collaboration rather than the individualistic approach to dealing with national issues that we can come together in the interest of the country and solve.

“The problems that are facing us are not insurmountable. We need a more systematic and systemic type of change and action to bring about the solutions that this country needs at this time, and BCSI, we want to be part of that for sure,” he said.

The business executive said in the coming months his organization would be placing greater focus on education, the culture and creative industries, as well as helping to get more service providers export ready. 

8 Responses to Small businesses facing possible closure – BCSI

  1. Danny Colombian Clarke
    Danny Colombian Clarke December 14, 2016 at 6:03 am

    How ppl can daily come here on facebook lambasting ppl for this party I can’t understand . Can’t ppl see Barbados is crumbling ? If visitors that have no ties to any political party can speak about the island being in a state of despair why can’t we who live here accept what we see daily . Is party blind a new sickness ?

    Reply
    • Gail Agard Wallace
      Gail Agard Wallace December 14, 2016 at 7:15 am

      The answer to your question is…. they get very defensive when we say anything about Barbados. I just got back here from Barbados early yesterday Morning . It is very sad to see what’s going on in some areas

      Reply
  2. Eugene December 14, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Many small business suffer the indignity of having to stretch their payments, making arrangements for extended payments to other small businesses, because Government does not pay VAT refunds. Imagine having to get loans or using credit cards when there are several years VAT refunds outstanding. And, then you are hearing how many billions are owed to the Government. No one has figured out that if you work out a system of netting out for people like me who actually file taxes, know what we owe you and what you owe us, it would be mutually agreeable.

    Reply
  3. Ronnie Warren
    Ronnie Warren December 14, 2016 at 7:39 am

    I have been running a small buisness for years and the one lesson I have learned is that profit goes back into the buisness not into a Merc or a mall in Miami…..negativism abounds

    Reply
  4. Hewers of wood December 14, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Exactly who owns these small businesses. Sorry the author did not mention a few of them.

    Reply
  5. Jennifer December 14, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Sorry the report did not include examples of what the trade of some of these small business are about.

    Reply
  6. Hal Austin December 14, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    If you are running a small business and cannot make ends meet, close it down. Taxpayers do not owe you a living.

    Reply
  7. jrsmith December 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    As like the government everything is badly manage in barbados whether public or private……dont see where this so call education is taking barbados..look at (DODDS) see who is there….

    Reply

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