No money to fund Barbados Investment Development Corporation, so shut it down!

A suggestion to save taxpayers’ money

by BFP reader “C” in St. James

As a small business owner over the last nine months I have found it increasingly difficult to contact a Business Development Officer (BDO) at the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC). It would appear that as the financial situation of the country has declined, monies form the BIDC has been diverted to other Government bodies, accordingly BDOs aware that there is no monies to undertake programs have taken to not answering their telephones or emails in the hope of avoiding having to break the news to their client companies.

My money saving idea is that until the BIDC is fully re-financed at least 90% of the BIDC personnel, including directors and the CEO, should be sent home without pay until such time as there is something for them to do.

I see no reason why we the tax payers should pay for these civil servants to sit and twiddle their thumbs when it is self evident that there are no funds available for them to undertake any meaningful programs to assist local companies. As soon as the funds become available they would of course be re-hired.

This lesson in reality would perhaps also help to give the CEO, BDOs and ancillary staff empathy with the harsh financial realities that companies operate under every single day in trying to maintain a business and employment in Barbados.

Yours Faithfully,

St James


Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

9 responses to “No money to fund Barbados Investment Development Corporation, so shut it down!

  1. PrettyPolly

    Now there’s an interesting thought. I wonder what the monthly salary bill is for the BIDC….If only we had a freedom of information act!!

  2. Beefcake

    Too bad the pay of politicians can’t be tied to economic performance.

  3. what will they think of next

    I am wondering if you are one of those who owe part of that $7.4mil and refuse to pay up.

  4. Get it right

    @what will they think of next
    The real scandal concerning the BIDC is the refusal of many businesses to pay their rent to the BIDC. My bet is that $7.4 million does not include vast sums that have been written-off already. Yet these same companies are the ones that complain that they get no assistance from government (why should they?) and are constantly holding their hands out for more. It doesn’t stop at rent either. In many cases these operations are in arrears to the VAT office and the NIS as well, and yet they stay in “business”. At the same time, those business that are up to date in their obligations are often forced to compete with these parasites.

  5. PrettyPolly

    Is there absolutely no management at the BIDC? How can any Board allow such an untenable situation to continue? This debt has not appeared overnight so successive directors can have done very little to reduce it.

    It is clear that on so many fronts the BIDC are powerless and useless so why do we need them? Forget sending them home short term & just do away with the whole entity. Let a private company manage the industrial estates and ensure that companies either pay or go on their way.

    We do no favours to our industries by handling them with kid gloves, all that breeds are companies that are weak and continually on life support. When an entrepeneur occupies a BIDC unit & pays no rent they are actively preventing another budding entrepeneur from getting an opportunity to try out their dreams. We have to accept that business’s can fail, no great stigma in that. It should merely encourage people to re-wind & come again. But not at the expense of the hard pressed tax payers.

    I wonder if things would be better if we actually had a joined up, realistic industrial development policy created by industrialists and not technocrats?

  6. Beefcake

    Wasn’t BIDC basically made redundant by Invest Barbados and the Small Business Association?

  7. Adrian Loveridge

    I have just driven past the Newton Industrial Estate and cannot recall how many years at least two factory units have stood burnt-out, derelict and unoccupied.
    Imagine that if these were privately owned and rented out, if they would be left like this?
    These Government organisations have to start spending and managing money and taxpayer assets like if it was the OWN money.

  8. J. Payne

    I can’t understand all these organizations. Honestly!
    A bunch of redundant names with high-paid people.

    Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC)

    Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. (BTI)

    Invest Barbados (IB)

    Many of Barbados’ agencies could be streamlined, amalgamated, and workers shifted to places where there are deficiencies. The Barbados government shouldn’t have three agencies listed above all with the same name.

  9. The Watcher

    I am in agreement with Government taking a less “visible” approach in the operations of the BIDC. I am not so sure however that it (the BIDC) should be shut down because it can be perceived as a “money-pit”. Put rather simply, if we shut down the BIDC we should also shut down the BTA and government should divest from this failing Tourism Product!