Struggling economy hurting debt collection – Bizzy

In what can be described as a sign of the economic times, one of the island’s most successful businessmen has revealed that he is struggling to collect the debts owed to his companies by the private sector.

In fact, Chairman of the Williams Industries Inc Ralph Bizzy Williams said those who owe simply will not pay unless they are forced to do so.

Williams did not say how he has been forcing payment from his debtors.

“Our receivables have become extremely difficult to collect as our major trading partners adopt positions that they will not pay us on time unless forced to,” he told the company’s 2017 awards dinner at Almond Caterers in Hastings, Christ Church last night.

Because of this, the business mogul said, he has been forced to evaluate the way he does business, including making changes to the formula used to award shares to employees.

“This means that in the future when we are considering profit sharing and giving shares for long service we must focus far more on cash received than on sales written. Employees will never accept IOUs instead of cash when we repurchase shares or pay profit share and we should not be borrowing cash to satisfy either of these obligations. Unlike governments, we cannot print money, hence the need to base profit share on cash generated rather than paper profit,” he explained, while stressing that Williams Industries has never defaulted on any of its payments or loans and has always paid its bills on time.

The Williams Industries group comprises over a dozen companies in construction, engineering, real estate and hardware, as well as half a dozen or so joint ventures.

These companies have been offering shares to staff members since 1997, and 25 employees who have been with the group for at least ten years became new shareholders last night, bringing to 523 the number of shareholders. They were part of a group of 77 who received 146,250 Williams Industries Inc shares valued at $1.2 million.

Since the start of the scheme two decades ago 2,037,335 shares valued at just over $16.5 million have been awarded to workers.

Williams said his group of companies has enjoyed “unbroken profitability” over the last 45 years, but would not stop there, as it intends to continue on a major expansion path in an effort to boost foreign exchange earnings.

He said the latest addition to the group, the Regus office rental business, was showing “good promise and expansion across the region to earn foreign exchange over the long term” and that Williams Industries had also invested “in the Cockspur rum brand in partnership with very competent and experienced people in this type of business and the largest spirits distributor in the world.

“We see this as an investment aimed at exporting a great Barbados brand worldwide,” he said, adding that terms had already been agreed for the acquisition of 50 per cent of “a very successful” Jamaican company, which he did not name, but which he said “has potential for expansion” in the region and through to South America.

“We expect to close the purchase early in January 2018,” he said, without going into detail.

Williams said he had signed an agreement to expand the desalination plant on Spring Garden and to work with the Barbados Water Authority to complete the northern pipeline upgrade to alleviate water shortages, and was now awaiting permission from the Town Planning department.

The entrepreneur revealed that in order to reduce cost and raise funding for these projects a Williams Industries bond was launched and successfully raised $25.1 million.

He reported that one of the companies, NSR Limited, the owners of SkyMall, has also launched a 12-year bond to help ensure stability of the company’s finances for 12 years and save approximately half a million dollars annually.

The renewable energy advocate also revealed that he had asked his Williams Caribbean Capital team to develop a “green bond” so Barbadians can invest in the alternative energy sector “and receive a steady, secure interest on their savings that far exceeds what the banks are paying now”.

“While the details of this bond are being worked out, we anxiously await the new rules that will regulate the alternative energy industry,” Williams said.

18 Responses to Struggling economy hurting debt collection – Bizzy

  1. Tony Webster December 15, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Real Pride. Real Industry. Real People. Real Example.100% Reality.

  2. straight talk December 15, 2017 at 6:01 am

    Ralph Bizzy Williams is a good man, he is not like them whores up in parliament that only know how to put on a suit.

  3. Northern Bronze December 15, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Can the BWA get back the $19MILLION DOLLARS it paid to IONICS Desalination plant for Standby Charge (no water delivered by IONICS and no water received by BWA)?

  4. Donild Trimp December 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Keep up the good work Ralph.

  5. milli watt December 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    always knew these blood suckers don’t pay………. as for this good man well beauty in the eyes of the beholder and all I see is pure ugly from that man

  6. Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Hahahaha, join the gang Bizzy. The Barbados private sector has a penchant for not paying what they owe to others. That is why the country is going through the challenging times that face us. The private sector owes the Govt. more than $670millon and refuse to pay what they owe otherwise you would have been paid on time, Bizzy. You wont hear CHARLES HERBERT saying anything about this. Is his companies among the ones owing you lots of money Bizzy???

    • MARIA Holder December 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      But Carson two wrongs don’t make a right, correct.?Government owes me two years of income tax and heading fast into owing 2017 as well. On this matter, among many this government can not get my votes

      • Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        That is no loss.

        You never voted for the DLP in your life.

        • MARIA Holder December 15, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          Yes the DLP is so comfortable that the loss of a vote is not important

          • MARIA Holder December 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

            Don’t only comment on the voting aspect also comment on when persons will get their refunds

          • MARIA Holder December 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm

            But the DLP cannot comment on refunds since they were smart enough to take all of government’s money out of central gov’t and put it into a statutory corporation

  7. Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    This is how it works in the Barbados Private sector of which CHARLES HERBERT IS THE BOSS.

    Companies 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8 is the Govt.. Company no. 4 is owed HUGE SUMS OF MONEY by companies nos. 1,2,3, who refuse to pay. Company no. 4 owes companies 5,6, 7 and no. 8 who is the Govt. Company no. 4 refuses to pay them and uses the money it owes its creditors to run its affairs. And it goes around and around like this for ever more.

    That is business Bajan style!!!!!

  8. Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Ask Bizzy how many people he owes.

  9. Belfast December 15, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Probably he was expecting to pay off the people he owes, from that big cheque he receives every month from Stephen Lashley’s ministry for the rental of palatial office space in Sky Mall. Work it out, If the unoccupied Mutal Building on Broad Street is costing the taxpayers of this country some $22,000 every month, the Sky Mall office space must be a hell of a heck of a lot more.

    • MARIA Holder December 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Not to mention the big one he gets for SBRC

  10. F.A.Rudder December 15, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Mr Williams you are wearing your night vision goggles! Your economic planning and foresight should be benificial to the investors down the years. I wish the renewable energy project all the success and preparedness in advancing its technology into a positive productivity stage.

  11. Harry December 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    carson I am willing to bet that Bizzy payments to BRA , NIS etc. are all up to date paid.

    • Carson C Cadogan December 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm

      I hope you don’t loose money on that bet.

      Does he still owe former passengers of failed Redjet airline refunds he promised them???


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *