Indigenous business owners are seeking a level playing field on
which to operate and for the Government to afford them the same
opportunities it gives to foreign investors.
Sean Bird, the United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St.
John’s Rural East, says he has spoken to a number of these business
people and they are complaining about the lack of government
assistance and the current tax structure.
Bird says that service stations, the smaller grocery chains, and a
number of locally owned enterprises are simply unable to meet their
Bird also refers to what he deems to be the great injustice being
done to local businesses by the banks.
He says he feels very passionately about this situation and will be
speaking more about it on a radio programme he hosts.
But, in the meantime, the UPP candidate says that businesses are
being charged hefty sums just to change cheques they have cashed,
especially for weekly paid workers.
Bird says these enterprises are concerned that the large
conglomerates are being given concessions while they continue to
According to Bird, the Gaston Browne Administration continues to
deceive the people, and if these businesses are not given the
assistance they need, they may be forced to close their doors.
He notes that even their utility bills have become a challenge for
many business owners; but they are sacrificing otherwise in order
to pay them and remain open.
He notes that some utility-bill payments can run up to $40,000
annually, which he considers to be very high given the size and
function of the particular business.
As a result of the struggles their parents face on a daily basis, Bird
observes that children of these entrepreneurs do not want to take
over these businesses, some which have been in operation since the