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Symmonds looks to help Port taximen

Article taken from the Daily Nation – Monday 27th June 2022.

IF APPROVED, Bridgetown Port taxi operators could get some relief during these dry summer months.

That is the hope of Minister of Energy, Business Development and International Business Kerrie Symmonds, who said his ministry was working on a proposal that could lead to the operators receiving special packages.

“This summer will be dry for them because there are no ships coming in and that is not the fault of the taxi operators. So for people who are living with no opportunity, Government must find a way to intervene and bring some sort of assistance to those folks.

“I am, therefore, formulating a proposal which will be very similar to what we did with the pandemic when we had the national shutdown or pause. [It is] to see whether [the Ministry of] Finance will assist us to provide some sort of a package to bring a level of relief for those folks who, through no fault of their own, are stuck in a difficult situation,” Symmonds said.

He was speaking on Saturday during the Ministry of Energy and the Barbados Trust Fund Ltd’s Business Fair And Expo: Community Edition at Hoyte’s Pavilion, Hoyte’s Village, St James.

Last month, president of the Independent Seaport Taxi Union, Anthony Eastmond, and Stevon Roberts, a member of the Bridgetown Port Taxi Co-op, anticipated a grim summer as no cruise ships are due to dock in Barbados before October.

Some taxi operators at the port also said they could lose their vehicles.

Although he was unable to provide specifics, the Member of Parliament for St James Central said they were also working to see how best they could address the rising cost of gasoline and electricity.

“I want to give the public the calm assurance that this has not escaped us. The Prime Minister has been in collaboration with my ministry to see what we can do and what we will be able to achieve will be shortly announced,” he added. The fair at Hoyte’s Village was the second held by the ministry since the inaugural event in May was held in Warrens. More than 50 small businesses were present. Credit unions and banks also presented financial information and some entrepreneurs got the opportunity to register their business with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office at a special rate.

(TG)

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