Small businesses to push back against taxes

The island’s small businesses are planning to turn up the heat on Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler over the austerity measures announced during last month’s Budget presentation.

Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Association (SBA) Lynette Holder told Barbados TODAY her executive would on Monday seek a mandate from the membership for a national response to the measures, which include a 500 per cent rise in the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL), climbing from two per cent to ten per cent; a two per cent tax on foreign exchange transactions and increases to the excise duty on petrol.

While Holder kept any proposed action close to her chest, she suggested a decision would come at Monday’s meeting.

“We very well will need to get a mandate from our membership relative to a national response on this issue [NSRL]. We have to go to our membership and say, ‘well members, this is the reality and we need to get a mandate from you,’” Holder said.

The SBA executive said it was important for all concerned to present a united response to the measures, which many economists have predicted will have a crippling effect on the entire private sector, as well as Barbadians on a whole.

She added that her organization was not alone in its attempt to stave off the impact, revealing that other private sector organizations were mobilizing their membership to formulate a collective response.

This development follows closely on the heels of last weekend’s threat of industrial action by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) unless Sinckler rescinds the tax measures by July 1 or institutes a “coping subsidy” for public servants until salary negotiations are concluded.

NUPW President Akanni McDowall said that the tax measures would drastically increase the cost of living by at least 15 per cent, adding this would be too much for public servants to bear.

4 Responses to Small businesses to push back against taxes

  1. Keen Observer June 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm

    Last year they were rejoicing when provisions amounting to millions of dollars were being made for small businesses. Businesses in this country too greedy. Do you know what really bugs me? A lot of them behave like joe public on welfare. They need to be more creative. Concession after concession, and very few of them put it to good uses. Imagine Barbados was a leader in solar for years, and the only product businesses were selling was a solar heater. Also, by now Cheffete should be all over the world or at least all over the Caribbean. A lot of great companies in the world started in a garage.

  2. Rampant June 14, 2017 at 7:05 am

    What have you started. Have you ever run a business?
    Small business keeps the middle class vibrant and the country more productive. What has been your contribution to the GNP (that would be the Gross National Product) of Barbados?

  3. greengiant June 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    @Keen Observer. Our governments are like the parents of our business owners. Mother ( B L P), father ( D L P) have been spoon feeding them for so long they knows no other means of survival. Our business owners, instead of expanding or exporting their businesses, don’t even sell shares to the public. They’re still family owned or private entities, they take their profits, buy into real estate to sell the masses yet again. So while they may benefit from all the incentives, they bring in little or no foreign exchange. I recently heard the suggestion that government should offer the the Hilton to locals, I guess the same local hoteliers who owes the state loan repayments for decades, are again looking for a sweetheart offer. Well if they want the Hilton, they should seek to borrow foreign exchange on the international market, so the lenders would repossess and sell when they don’t pay.

    I really would wish the government to publish which businesses are owed by the state and which owes the state. Let the people know the facts, like which hoteliers got loans from our taxes prior to 2007 ICC world cup, and have not repaid. Even those business in manufacturing and all other sectors who have been less than honorable, it’s time to name and shame them. It’s time to seize their business and sell them off, their employees will be reemployed by the new owners.

    Since everyone realizes that the jockey has gotten too heavy for the horse to carry, and are calling for the government to privatize or divest most of it’s departments, citizens are expected to pay their tertiary education cost, and some even suggesting that some medical services be paid for. I hope never to see our governments giving concessions to established businesses unless they are attracting foreign direct investment, foreign sales or services. These concessions should not be paid upfront either, but based on the amount of foreign exchange they bring into the country.

    They’re also some business that have kept their staff below the threshold, and size of business development low so as to remain in the small business category. Notably a leading hotelier, and public transport operator. This so they can benefit from any funding made available to the SBA. While young aspiring business people have to make do with what’s left, this individual, and a lady now seeking political office in the west have been creaming off the developmental funds for decades. These and other ills must cease if this country is to become productive again.

  4. Calloutlies June 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm


    You get on this online comment section and talk so much rubbish it is amazing. You give people the impression that you know what you are talking about while just writing a long set of badword. What incentives of note does government offer to small enterprises. Tell us what spoon feeding has been offered by either government. Stupes


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