Banking on culture

Representatives from the cultural industries have been making a case to the financial institutions here for financial backing of cultural projects.

The Cultural Industries Development Authority (CIDA) brought the two sides together at a recent investors’ forum in an attempt to find a happy medium between the needs of cultural practitioners and the demands of commercial banks.

Industry officials have long voiced concern about the challenges they face in securing loans from lending institutions for their projects, primarily because the commercial banks do not see culture as profitable.

CIDA Director Andrea King said it was important to “deconstruct the myth that the practitioners in the cultural industries do not understand what financial institutions want”.

“People from the financial industries are going to help creatives understand what it is they need to access investment into a good business,” King said, insisting that “intellectual property has a value and it should be and must be used as collateral”.

She made reference to Jamaica where legislation had been enacted to recognize intellectual property as such.

The meeting brought together representatives from all sectors of the cultural industry and representatives from most of the commercial banks on the island, the two largest credit unions, and Fund Access, as well as the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation and the Barbados Economics Society.

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