Article taken from the Weekend Nation – July 7, 2022
Small and micro business owners have been urged to start putting a line of succession in place to prevent their enterprises from going defunct.
This was one of the many tips Minister of Energy, Business Development and International Business Kerrie Symmonds gave to St Philip business owners during an outreach church service held at the Calvary Temple Community Church in Groves, St Philip, on Sunday.
He said it was unfortunate that in many instances, black-owned businesses did not make it past the first generation of operations, stressing this tradition had to change.
“Too many black businesses in Barbados fail and do not go past the first generation. We have to ask ourselves, why is this the case? Because businesses must continue to the next generation. Businesses should be encouraged to survive to be passed on to the son and grandson and granddaughter or greatgrandson,” he said. “We see this happening in the Asian community. We see this happening in the European community but we are not seeing it happening in our community. We got to fix that and it means therefore that our people have to be re-educated on how it is that a business survives.” The minister said this happened more often than not because small business people often started a business venture due to “pressuring” circumstances and not necessarily because they had any business training.
He said it was therefore important that small and micro business owners understand the tenets of financial literacy and generational wealth so their enterprises could have longevity.
Symmonds said it was also important for businesses to improve their industry standards as it relates to quality of service as good customer service went a long way.
He renewed his call for a collateral registry so small and micro business owners could get access to financing they usually would not be able to. He said the tools small business owners used were assets with monetary value noting they should be able to borrow loans against them.
During the service, Bishop André Symmonds, brother of the minister, based his sermon around Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son.
He spoke about the importance of making a life and not a living.
“I’ve come to tell you in short order that there’s a higher premium on making a life because a living is temporary. A life is eternal,” he said.