Locked out

Pelican Village tenants in arrears barred

The Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) is again going after clients for outstanding rent.

An official source told Barbados TODAY the Government agency locked out some clients at Pelican Village Craft Centre on Friday due to non-payment of rent.

The under-patronized location, which is likely to go under private management soon, is home to just over two dozen retail shops and over a dozen workshops, a restaurant and bar and an annex with an art gallery.

Barbados TODAY was unable to get an official word from the BIDC authorities or Minister of Industry, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss on the development.

However, at the end of December Inniss had told a BIDC awards ceremony at the Hilton Barbados Resort that tenants owed $15 million in arrears to the agency responsible for promoting and facilitating the establishment and expansion of business here. This was up from $10 million in 2014.

At the time Inniss had warned that unless debtors met 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,” Inniss said then.

“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 security on the premises,” he added at the time.

Over the past three years the BIDC had threatened several times to take action against those who continued to renege on their payment arrangements.

One industry player who did not want to be identified told Barbados TODAY the situation was extremely sad, adding that all the storeowners wanted was traffic to the Pelican Village so they could get the required sale to adequately and persistently pay their rent.

“Pelican does not get the traffic at all,” said the source, adding that the vendors tended to make better sales at hotels and other locations.

In fact, the source said some agents of the retailers in Bridgetown were going as far as to encourage tourists coming off the cruise ships to “walk straight to Bridgetown and don’t stop until you get to town”.

“Looking across you don’t even know what is over there. You really don’t know that it is a craft village . . . sadly they don’t get the traffic and they don’t get sales many weeks. When they don’t get money they can’t pay their rent. And this is not the first time . . . we really can’t afford that. They really need sales,” said the source.

The BIDC has about 12 industrial estates across the island comprising 70 commercial buildings and more than 300 separate units in the corporations buildings.

10 Responses to Locked out

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce April 11, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Pay the RENT!

    Reply
  2. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince April 11, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Upgrade the place….promote the place. Encourage tourists and locals to support.

    Reply
  3. Patrina Drakes
    Patrina Drakes April 11, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Everytime a ship in port have music playing to draw the passengers intrest have items out side so they can see them. Have items REASONABLY price every guest that comes to our shores are wealthy just like we save for months and budget to travel some tourist also do this. Incorporate pelican village to the port, work with the store owners and give a get free or buy and get half price deals to get traffic. On cruise I took every port had a voucher from store to get free items and we went looking for those stores some of the item where prints some was jewelry

    Reply
  4. Peter April 11, 2017 at 7:11 am

    I do not know what the those in charge of the IDC are doing. Yes the rents are low but the IDC needs to look at other areas of helping its tenants to be more productive. Some of those properties are in really bad shape and needs a maintenance program put in place. They should install energy saving such as solar. Create a Manufacturers’ website so their clients can showcase their products and services with Skype link to their sales departments. Labour costs and other expenses are very high. Reduce their taxes. Put some pride back into our industries. It all starts with the government. whomever is there. Do not depend solely on tourists.

    Reply
  5. ka April 11, 2017 at 9:14 am

    The Craft Village needs a serious upgrade.
    It needs to be promoted, needs some flyers on the outside saying what it offers.
    Cruise ships are in almost daily, there is no way that those tourists should be passing there and not even taking a peek inside. The Pelican Craft Village is the first place most tourist pass after leaving the ships, so my advice to the folks renting in there, promote your business, offer some specials on your products, go out to the front where the tourists are passing, welcome them into the business. Don’t rely on the BIDC to help you, help yourselves.

    Reply
  6. Francis Wisdom April 11, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I visited Barbados with my wife in Feb 2017 and we made a stop at the PV. We ate at the vege cafe at the front, which was very nice. After we spent about 2 hours visiting numerous stores. For that time there could not have been more than a dozen other people walking around with no other persons in the stores we visited. It was a real shame given the excellent quality products available. It was very obvious the PV is in the wrong location as there is very minimal passing traffic on foot. The main road is a highway and with poor signage, which I doubt many people will stop. My advice is the store owners need to come together and form a cluster or collective and seek a much better pedestrian trafficked location in Bridgetown. For any retail business to survive and grow first you need; 1. a good location, 2. quality goods, 3. good pricing and, 4. good marketing. With all these ingredients in place your business should witness healthy growth. It would be a real shame to see many of these cultural/craft businesses disappear all because of simple planning and execution.

    Reply
  7. Donild Trimp April 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I applaud the BIDC for doing the right thing. The entitlement mentality in Barbados must be eradicated.

    I cannot understand how people conducting business in rented facilities can be allowed to do so without paying the rent. Only a banana republic operates in such a manner.

    Every effort should also be made by the Gov’t to collect the over $600,000 in taxes owed to the Gov’t treasury by those businesses still operating in Barbados.

    I roll my eyes everyday when I see a Gov’t in power that is powerless, toothless and downright incompetent when it comes to doing the right thing.

    Make use of the Government’s legal dept and make those businesses pay their taxes. I cannot understand the foolishness the Barbados Gov’t puts up with.

    Squatters is also a problem. People should not be allowed to break the law with impunity. Bulldoze all the illegally constructed houses and deport the illegals who built those houses back to Guyana, St.Vincent, St.Lucia or wherever the hell they came from.

    Enough is enough.

    Reply
  8. Donild Trimp April 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

    *Squatting is also a problem.

    Reply
  9. Despair April 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    pay the rent – nothing is free – who is responsible for monitoring these payments, why has it taken so long to apprehend the renters – if no rent is being paid, no maintenance can take place. Bajans have this mentality of freeness – there is no accountability in this country – government workers turn up for work when they want to and chat on phone all day – they know nothing about customer service/delivery. Its now time for every individual to be made accountable for their actions.

    Reply
  10. Milli Watt April 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    while the rents were running up the place was running and fingers pointing……between the successive lousy parties and their friends has destroyed that place. what i want to know is WHO IS THE PRIVATE SECTOR INTEREST THAT GOING TAKE IT OVER……BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

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