It is important to sustain businesses in rural districts because they hold those “fragile” communities together, says MP for St Joseph, Dale Marshall.
Speaking at this weekend’s official opening of Mumus Supermarket and D-Pitstop Sports Bar, a joint family business located in Lammings, St Joseph –– between Princess Daniel and her son Anderson –– Marshall said ventures like that often brought fragile communities closer.
“. . . Rural communities . . . are fragile because of the distance away from places of work, access to facilities, access to good shoping; and places like St Joseph tend not to be the first option for people who are looking for places to live. One of the challenges we have is difficulty in maintaining our population base.
“People readily move and go into St Michael, St James, Christ Church and those areas, because they seem nearer to what is happening,” Marshall said. “That in turn triggers difficulties in rural parts of Barbados, because it makes it difficulty to sustain enterprises.
“So we really need to keep our rural population intact, and Government also has a role to play because we need to do what we have to, to make our rural community more attractive.”
Marshall added that with a fairly large community for its market, the new venture should be profitable to the operators.
A businesswoman for over 25 years, Princess explained that her brother Denis McInstosh previously owned the establishment but it was closed for some time. After discussing the idea of reopening with her son and daughter to keep it in the family, they decided to re-establish the business under a new name.
The former managing director of P&N Caterers said people had been gravitating towards the business, and the family had had several plans in mind, including a hardware section. Princess’ son Anderson, who is co-owner of the bar, said it would be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
“I find the country is forgotten, especially in St Joseph and . . . ,” he added. And so, given there are many elderly folk in the district who don’t want to go into town with their bags or anything, the Daniels thought it would be convenient for the group to have the supermarket and bar.
“And the younger people don’t have anything to do either, so that’s why the bar is here –– with television has well,” explained Anderson.
He said employment opportunities would also be available to those living in St Joseph.
So far, three, who had been out of work, have got jobs with the Daniels.