The Small Business Association is unhappy with its current state of development and the level of Government assistance it receives, President Dalton Medford has said.
Speaking last night at the 7th Leo Leacock Lecture which forms part of the annual Small Business Week, Medford acknowledged initiatives to help companies increase export and Government source financial support for small businesses, but said it was not enough.
“We need more. We need development financing,” he said at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.
“There are a lot of small business people in this great country who have great ideas but can’t go to the bank to get the money, as the first payment on the bank loan will become due, with interest, at the end of the same month that they are given the loan. And the person did not even get an order as yet.”
Contending that the traditional conditions for commercial loans amounted to, “giving with one hand and taking it with the next”, he called on Government to provide funding support to help small enterprises get on their feet without the pressure of having to repay money borrowed for investment.
“Development financing, which differs from loan financing to run a business, will go a long way in assisting those entrepreneurs with creative ideas, especially in the areas of research and development.”
Medford urged enactment of several pieces of legislation, including a bill to redefine small and medium-sized businesses and the Government Procurement Bill. He also repeated a call from the Small Business Association (SBA) for Government to devote 40 per cent of its purchases to the micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
“If we are all in agreement that the micro, small and medium-sized businesses must assist in the recovery of our economy and society, then let the national dialogue begin on how we shall reshape the next 50 years [of our independence] to include, holistically micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in our national development as a senior partner when it comes to business in Barbados,” he said. (GA)