Rent arrears to BIDC balloon

Rent arrears to Government’s industrial development agency has skyrocketed by 50 per cent in the last two years despite Government’s pleas for small businesses to pay up, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss has revealed.

Inniss told last night’s Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC)  awards ceremony and dinner at the Hilton Barbados Resort, tenants owe $15 million in arrears to the agency responsible for promoting and facilitating the establishment and expansion of business here, up from $10 million in 2014.

And he warned debtors unless they meet their financial commitments to the BIDC the quality of service they received would deteriorate.

“You have a duty to pay your rent and to pay soon,” he said

“If you don’t pay your rent, the corporation may find it difficult to insure the building which you occupy. When you turn up the next morning and find that your place has been broken into, it is the same corporation that you will say should have had security on the premises.

“When the toilet is not working well it is the same staff at the BIDC who we have to pay to respond to these things,” he said.

Insisting that the BIDC needed every penny that it was owed, the minister contended that the 60-year-old state corporation was much more than a landlord.

“Many people still like to associate the BIDC with charging rents and owning industrial estates. The organization can attest to contributing as much as $500 million in exports from the island on an annual basis,” Inniss maintained.

He said with the agency experiencing a cash-flow problem, it would be forced to divest some of its assets.

“I have given the board the task of disposing of some of the non-performing assets of the entity, a way of shedding some of the burden, and achieving a level of cash-flow to be sustained, and less dependent on the state,” he announced.

Two years ago, when he addressed the issue of arrears, Inniss had said an analysis was needed to determine why delinquent tenants were unable to pay and to “see what can be done to assist” them.

He had also expressed a belief that most entrepreneurs were willing to make an effort to pay their bills, but 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 then.

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.

8 Responses to Rent arrears to BIDC balloon

  1. Santini More
    Santini More December 23, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Approximately 6 weeks ago, Sonja Trotman, the BIDC CEO was making statements to the press about the significant improvements in rent payments to the BIDC. Was she lying?

    Reply
  2. Hal Austin December 23, 2016 at 4:01 am

    This publicity-fixated buffoon is at it again, and Barbados Today is obliging him with more cheap publicity. Plse bring forward the general election so we can get rid of him from public life.

    Reply
  3. Tony Webster December 23, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Not-so-funny joke of the day:-
    Scenario 1:-
    You owe your bank, say, $20,000; you are two months behind in payments. The bank got security; dem got de hammer hand, and you are praying; sweating; buying mo’ Lotto tickets dan n’usual; and your secretary is under strict instructions , dat effin de bank manager call you…you is out of office!

    Scenario 2:

    You owes de bank $20,000,000, and you is six months late. You ent take ANY calls from de bank manager, since de first one, whichin, you did tell him, you would check and see if you cud at least pay de interest…when you get a chance. De BANK MANAGER now sweating; asking his secretary to call your secretary, and beg for you to meet him for a free Brown Sugar lunch…to discuss “possibilities”, including re-sceduling to something mo’ comfortable for you…as the voters (sorry, bank auditors) soon coming, and the Manager…might get de-moted, and posted to Anguilla branch. All because, de manager didn’t manage, when de problem was ONE month’s payment; and was a “manageable” issue.

    Moral: deal wid problems when dem start; when dem small… and when the initiative yet lies with the lender ( or de landlord!!) De BIDC tenants evidently now have the initiative..and what yuh gine do…evict dem all? Hmmm…howcum, these same tenants…does pay BL&P, and FLOW bills… every month….regular like clocks?

    Effin any few bucks lef- back in de Big Bashment celebrations budget…Hon. Donville cud try taking a few slothful tenants to Brown Sugar, and over a bowl of soup…who knows what might eventuate?

    Reply
  4. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis December 23, 2016 at 5:08 am

    The bellies pun alot of DEM ministers have also balloon since coming to power too

    Reply
  5. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray December 23, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Under his watch it either balloon or fall. A waste bag.

    Reply
  6. Adrian Loveridge December 23, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I totally agree about the rent being paid ontime but how many of the tenants are still owed unpaid but agreed VAT refunds. Government currently owes us nearly $40,000 with the last payment made in April 2013. There are always TWO sides to the story.

    Reply
  7. Haskell Murray December 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    The CEO should be fired , because there is obviously a problem with the accounting policies , procedures and collections. I am sure that there is a rental agreement which is not strictly being enforced.
    By not collecting the rents owed it means that this is not being run like a real company. I bet that if the land lord was Cave Sheppard or the old Barbados Shipping and Trading Company
    no tenants would be delinquent with $15million.

    Reply
  8. Donild Trimp December 27, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Can someone in Barbados please help me understand this foolishness.

    Tenants rent arrears to the agency are in the millions and despite Government’s pleas for these delinquent tenants to pay up, the pleas were ignored and the arrears skyrocketed by 50 per cent over the last two years. This entitlement mentality is curse on Barbados.

    Seems as if the lunatics are running the asylum.

    Once again I will posit my belief that Barbados is exhibiting all the traits of a Banana Republic run by educated fools.

    Reply

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