Government Needs to Protect Small Businesses

Adrian Loveridge - Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Adrian Loveridge – Owner of Peach & Quiet Hotel

Perhaps more than many, I can empathise with individuals who have recently seen their business either fail or brought dangerously close to insolvency. In 47 years it has happened to me twice and in both cases, they were largely external forces which caused near personal financial catastrophe.

Of course, it is easy to attribute the blame to others but in my case, I can unequivocally state that both near failures, which occurred years apart, were largely caused by strike action in the United Kingdom. Both involving the National Union of Seaman. Personally witnessing bus loads, of what can only be described as pickaxe wielding thugs, destroying property and intimidating ordinary people simply wanting to go about everyday work and operating their businesses.

More than a decade later, it was the same union, blockading the English channel ports, which prevented literally thousands of our booked holidaymakers taking their hard earned trips.

Unless you have been a small entrepreneur and fully understand the work, sacrifice and dedication it takes to grow and nurture a business from nothing, it might be difficult to comprehend the feeling of sheer devastation you experience, when all those efforts unfold and collapse in front of you.

When we moved to Barbados, some twenty five years ago, and literally put our life savings into purchasing a derelict hotel, we were starting all over again. Not surprising, the local banks we approached were not overly helpful, regularly quoting those seemingly worldly phrases like – we were ‘undercapitalised’ or ‘over trading’. Little did we know then, that these ‘pearls of wisdom’ would come back and haunt the many supposedly ‘responsible’ financial institutions, globally, just years later.

In those early days, understandably, very few suppliers were prepared to extend us credit, and we will be eternally grateful to the handful who took the risk. In hindsight, the limited access to borrowing and credit was probably the best thing that happened to us. Growth of the business and enhancement of plant was funded by positive cashflow, which left us entirely debt free.

Therefore, while I have absolute sympathy for those enterprises which have faced critical financial challenges recently, you are forced to ask if Government is now operating a two tier system of collecting taxes, when a relatively small company can amass outstanding debts of close to a reported $10 million, across four Government agencies.

Something has to be fundamentally wrong.

Our own experiences substantiate this inequity, after finally receiving partial payment of outstanding VAT refunds overdue for as long as three years and seven months.

Clearly any administration has to adopt a balancing act of trying to create a climate where enterprises are encouraged to grow and help soak up unemployment. But at the same time, they should not escape their regulatory responsibility by allowing selected corporate entities to avoid or even evade paying taxes for long periods of time. Ultimately, the businesses which are playing by the rules, despite all the adverse trading conditions, have to pick up any deficit.

0 responses to “Government Needs to Protect Small Businesses

  1. PDC…………………i cannot enable you in your delusions that local and regional banks do not have to meet or be governed by international banking laws and by the international financial system………….that would be doing exactly what you are accusing the DLP/BLP of doing, being blatantly and maliciously deceitful and dishonest to the taxpayers of Barbados……………you could not expect me in all good conscience to encourage that nonsense when i beat up on both parties equally, how do you think that would make me look when i know there are other West Indians and Bajans who also work in the banking system in Europe and North America and actually are aware of what is happening in the financial world and are not delusional and they also check out these blogs. I have an image to upkeep.

  2. PDC………………i will leave you with some food for thought, if the Barbados Central Bank has the most sovereign power over the banks in Barbados, why can the FBI, SEC or IRS issue a John Doe summons on any bank in Barbados or the region to see what is going on in their books??………why can’t the very sovereign Barbados Central Bank tell these entities go fly a kite, you cannot just march in and look at our books………i bet you as PM in Bim you would think you could do that and only succeed in getting yourself extradited………..it is not as simple as you believe and trying your best to make others believe that madness is counterproductive to what you are claiming.

  3. I don’t think that even you would expect them to name every participating member or country in the world………..i believe Barbados is considered part of the worldwide scenario, unless the island is now stationed on Jupiter.

    “to enhance understanding of key supervisory issues and improve the quality of banking supervision worldwide”. It is said – by the research information we saw – that some of its other functions are to frame guidelines and standards in different areas such as international standards on capital adequacy, the concordat on cross border banking, etc.

  4. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    Government Needs to Protect Small Businesses@ Government Needs to Protect it own self from the rest of the World , The rest of the World is at the shores of Barbados looking to do what Barbados dont do.
    Audits will be done , BLP/DLP have no time for small business .Both Parties will see how well they hold up to outside eyes,
    Every Crook for them self.
    BARBADOS TODAY MIGHT BE THE ONLY NEWS IN BARBADOS TO TELL THE WORLD WHAT THE OTHER MEDIA OUTLETS WILL NOT PRINT. OR CNN.

  5. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926-2013 AND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,LAND TAX BILLS AND NO DEEDS

    What does UCC1-207 meaning ? on the back of a check , ,,,and then sign it.

    Any one can jump in to reply..Thank You. Banking question

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