Today the 170 members of the Bridgetown Port Co-op Taxi Society Ltd received their promised financial assistance for the first two weeks of lockdown in February.
An elated President of the association Adrian Bayley told Barbados TODAY the cheques for $500 each were handed over to members just outside the Bridgetown Port.
Explaining that many of the taxi operators did not have a bank account, Bayley said the association had collected the names of the members and passed the information to the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Pointing out that most taxi drivers were now operating at about 15 per cent of what they were doing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bayley said they were extremely grateful for the assistance.
“We feel very thankful that the co-op could have received the money for the members. This stimulus package that we received today, despite it not being a large amount of money, we accept it with open arms,” he said.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to Minister (Kerrie) Symmonds who has been working with us from as far back as in 2018 when he took up the post of Minister of Tourism and International Transport,” said Bayley.
At the end of January, Symmonds, the Minister of Small Business, had announced that Government would be providing just over $3 million to provide financial assistance for the more than 3,000 shop owners and vendors, as well as registered taxi operators and other qualifying sectors for the lockdown period of February 3 to 17.
Shops are to get a total of $1,500 for two weeks and other categories would receive a total of $500 for that period. The lockdown was extended for a further two weeks, and Government had promised to extend the assistance.
Lauding the Mia Mottley administration for coming to their rescue, Bayley said he was now “sitting quietly and waiting” for the stimulus for the additional two weeks’ lockdown.
“It is a lot of pressure out here at this moment, but I am not the sort of person to gripe over the situation. It is across the spectrum in almost every discipline in Barbados. It makes no sense crying out. Whatever assistance we can get is deeply appreciated at this time,” said Bayley, who said several businesses and places of worship have already reached out to the association and offered some assistance.