Prime Minister Mia Mottley is supporting raising the bar to maximize the full potential of vending in Barbados.
As she delivered the feature address at this morning’s official opening of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN) super outdoor market, on the Mighty Gryner Highway, Mottley stressed that entrepreneurship cannot be allowed to be criminalized in this country.
She made it clear that the long in coming legislative framework cannot simply be about the decriminalization of illegal vending, but must also focus on building the platform to move vending to the next level.
“And if I have a regret, it’s that it is taking as long for us to bring the comprehensive vending legislation because we took a decision as a Government not simply to decriminalize illegal vending, but in the same way that we have a deal for tourism, in the same way we have a deal for small business, we must have a deal for vendors and small people in this country as well,” she said.
The Prime Minister said it is important, especially for the youth of the nation to understand that the arrival of the new location for the market is not an accident, but indeed a journey.
“And we must do as much as we can to carry the baton in this relay. But we know others will come and take it from us the same way that we rest today not on our own efforts alone, but on the efforts of all those who went before us carrying the baton. And what is it that is critical, is that the mission must be the same. And what is the mission? That in this country, all must be able to live and all must be able to prosper,” she said.
The Prime Minister also noted that while there were those who questioned the Government’s move to inject $10 million in the Trust Loan Fund, it was necessary to assist aspiring entrepreneurs, including vendors, in boosting their credit ratings.
Mottley also used the opportunity to encourage more Barbadians to get involved in farming to help the country boost its food production levels, and urged crop thieves to desist from the unlawful act, while issuing a reminder that the necessary legislation to address the vexing issue of predial larceny is on its way. (AH)