By Julie Carrington
Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, said all businesses are eligible to receive the Safe Business Verification Certificate but they must satisfy certain conditions.
He made this statement today as Unicomer (Barbados) Limited trading as Courts, was the first business to receive the Barbados National Standards Institution’s (BNSI) Safe Business Verification Certification during a ceremony at the store in Bridgetown.
The Minister pointed out that businesses were not handed the stamp by just saying they owned a business but by demonstrating that they have “the internal operational structure that allows [them] to meet International Labour Organization standards of safety”.
This, he explained, would allow Courts to demonstrate that they have an internal operational structure that allows them to meet international best practices.
Mr. Symmonds continued: “Perhaps, even more importantly in Barbados, [it means] that you are able to maintain the standards set by our own local Ministry of Health. Once you have been able to do that, then you satisfy that criteria that allows you to have the stamp of approval which, in turn, enables every business with that stamp to say to visitors to the island, to Barbadians who are obviously very concerned about their personal safety, the safety of their friends, their families, and to say this to your customers, ‘we are a business that has been recognised formally for the good work we are doing in protecting first of all our staff, and secondly those people who come to do business in our offices and our establishments.”
The Small Business Minister noted that the Safe Business Verification Certificate gave customers “value added” and empowered them to make sound decisions as to where they wanted to shop and “makes us as an ecosystem doing business in Barbados, a lot stronger and a lot better off”.
He encouraged all businesses to aim for this symbol of excellence so that the Barbadian community was enriched for the better and congratulated Courts’ Managing Director, Trisha Tannis, for her good work and astute leadership in this regard.
Meanwhile, Acting Director of the BNSI, Haydn Rhynd, congratulated Courts and his technical team for making the award of the certification a reality after the four-week assessment period.
He said the Safe Business Verification Stamp was one of the responses coming out of the Ministry in recognition of the need to support business following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our initiative gives that support because we have outlined not just the precautions to mitigate against the COVID-19, but also to ensure that the international best practices as far as health and safety are maintained.
“So, Courts has demonstrated through third party assessment by the BNSI, that they are committed to satisfying not just the requirements for safety in a COVID environment, but beyond that, many occupational and health requirements which satisfy the international standards within the programme…,” Mr. Rhynd underlined.
Managing Director of Courts, Trisha Tannis, said the BNSI’s certification was another demonstration of the company’s commitment to its suppliers, vendors, partners, staff and to other businesses.
The certificate is valid for one year and during the period, there will be frequent assessments carried out by officials from the BNSI.