Adrian Loveridge, Peach and Quiet

The Adrian Loveridge Column – Commercial Banks Must Support SMEs with Accepting Online Payments

epaymentNot that I needed any more persuasion, but after participating in the recent Road Runner event (during the just concluded Tourism Week) it reminded me there is still vast untapped potential in tourism that could help return our economy to a healthy and viable state.

As some of our larger commercial enterprises continue to downsize, right size or whatever the current buzz word describing the current job losses, I remain convinced that it is our small and micro businesses who offer the greatest opportunity to grow employment and economic growth.

The second stop on the day was a company called Glass Creations at Pelican Craft Centre, which in addition to an exciting selection of handmade customised trophies and glassware, had the simple idea of turning used empty spirit bottles into attractive drinking mugs. Not only contributing to our waste disposal and recycling efforts, but providing a unique souvenir that will remind any visitor of their time in Barbados.

My immediate thought was to highlight our various rum brands and place these for sale at the air and seaport duty-free stores, rum visitor centres and attractions like St. Nicholas Abbey. Later on that same morning we visited Magnolia Chocolatier, a Worthing based small business hand-making a whole range of chocolate products using almost exclusively local ingredients.

These are only two simple examples, but if this ‘concept’ can be replicated across the island, with help given to increase marketing and awareness, who knows where it would lead to. If everyone of our small and micro business employed just one extra person, whether in production or delivery, what would the overall effect be on our current unemployment figures?

Tax creating rather than benefit consuming has to be the preferred alternative.

I am sure that there are many other worthy examples of these two enterprises out there and it not beyond us to find an improved way to ensure they are given the exposure they need. Perhaps in the way of co-operative marketing where costs can be reduced and shared. Our national tourism marketing agency can also use their extensive resources to point visitors in the right direction. With various social media platforms it has become increasingly easier to spread the word. When our amazing website lady posted the Road Runner event on our Facebook page, an amazing 6,185 people viewed it over a 48 hour period.

The secondary benefit is that we are at the same time reducing imports and our reliance on foreign exchange which has to be advantageous during the present financially troubling times. I would finally also like to make a plea to our banking and financial institutions to help these small and micro businesses improve their ability to create an online payment platform, to make it easier for customers to use their credit and debit cards at individual merchants. Overwhelmingly this is the preferred method of payment and ‘we’ should not deter small businesses expanding due to their size.

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8 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Commercial Banks Must Support SMEs with Accepting Online Payments”

  1. chad99999 October 3, 2016 at 3:29 AM #

    I can find no fault in what Adrian is saying this week, although I am not charitably disposed to the idea that small businesses are the solution to the unemployment problem.

    Small businesses are almost always inefficient and have relatively high failure rates. This is as true in Aruba and Canada as in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Efficiency almost always requires intense specialization and a certain scale of operation, which small businesses seldom achieve. If small businesses were the answer to the problem of poverty and unemployment, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Morocco would be the most successful countries on the planet.

    In Barbados, we definitely need to find better ways to sell rum to tourists. It is often said that if the French were our colonial masters they would have found a way by now to create dozens of differentiated rum products for sale at very high prices, based on the same abracadabra mythology they have created about their wines.
    Why haven’t we learned from the wine industry? Bajans are always boasting about how smart we are, but when you look for the evidence, it isn’t there.

    Like

  2. Caribbean $uccess October 3, 2016 at 4:13 AM #

    So what do you suggest as the solution to low employment Chad?

    Like

  3. chad99999 October 3, 2016 at 1:36 PM #

    Good for them. Owning one Barbados brand as part of a portfolio of brands from many countries is not the same thing as trying to create a portfolio of Barbados rum brands.

    Like

  4. Vincent Haynes October 3, 2016 at 1:46 PM #

    R.L.Seales rums like Cockspurs are exported all over the world.

    Like

  5. chad99999 October 3, 2016 at 2:10 PM #

    Are you reading me? I am talking about justifying high prices for each of many brands of a product.

    The French have a whole bag of tricks to create a culture of snobbery around their wines, so they can charge more. Each wine property (vineyard) has one or two world famous brands with distinctive logos. There is an industry of book publishing, wine courses, and wine tastings that has built up huge numbers of loyal wine customers around the world who study the details of each type of wine, the particular foods each wine must be paired with, etc. Specialized knowledge of wine trivia is a source of pride and status for hundreds of thousands of people and drives the demand for wine in restaurants in metropolitan countries, as status-conscious people try to show off.

    As a child of six can tell, that is not what we do, and it is not the same as exporting a few brands of rum to a few places.

    Like

  6. peterlawrencethompson October 3, 2016 at 9:09 PM #

    @chad99999

    The rum that is said by many to be the best in the world is Bajan. No it’s not Mount Gay or Cockspur— it’s made by a small “cottage industry” distillery at St. Nicholas Abbey. The best wine is likewise produced by small independent vineyards.

    I agree entirely that “Small businesses are almost always inefficient” but there are more important metrics than efficiency; quality is one, equity is another. Efficient business that concentrates billions in the hands of only 1% is less healthy for society than a less efficient system which generates only 90% as much, but spreads it more equitably across the population.

    Like

  7. Vincent Haynes October 4, 2016 at 8:22 AM #

    peterlawrencethompson October 3, 2016 at 9:09 PM #

    Why do we continue to decry small businesses?
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Small businesses are saving our Main Streets

    Watch the original eight-episode series about one small town’s revival, featuring Deluxe Corporation’s Amanda Brinkman and Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec.

    In early 2016, we put out a call for nominations looking for one special small town that would benefit from a $500,000 boost for its small businesses and downtown area. After nearly 10,000 nominations and 180,000 votes were cast, we set out for Wabash, Indiana. The web series tells the story of the inspiring people we met and the challenges they faced – with insights and lessons we hope will help other small business owners facing similar challenges.
    Watch the Web Series

    Learn more about Wabash
    Episode 1 Watch the Episode

    Liked by 1 person

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