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Barbados Small Business and Entrepreneurship Minister Kerrie Symmonds taking a look at this independence t-shirt while visiting one of the booths at the first Bajan Christmas Pop-up Marketplace, at the Warrens Office Complex on Saturday, November28, 2020. (Photo: A Reid/BGIS)

Barbados business minister encourages supporting local SMEs for Christmas

Barbados Small Business and Entrepreneurship Minister Kerrie Symmonds taking a look at this independence t-shirt while visiting one of the booths at the first Bajan Christmas Pop-up Marketplace, at the Warrens Office Complex on Saturday, November28, 2020. (Photo: A Reid/BGIS)

Barbados Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds is encouraging citizens in that country to support local businesses when purchasing goods and services for the Yuletide season.

While speaking at the launch of the first Bajan Christmas Pop-up Marketplace, Symmonds explained that the Government of Barbados decided to provide an opportunity for local businesses to market their products and services and assist SMEs that are feeling the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this 2017 photo, a patron at Bridgetown Market inspects a sample of one of the locally made organic products on sale. (Photo: Barbados Advocate)

“We felt it was absolutely necessary to mount a programme such as this, which brings the small and micro people into a defined space, where the Barbadian public can interact with them in a commercial way, and to give those folks an opportunity to make sales, which enable them to keep their businesses afloat; keep their families and their employees fed,” he said at the event.

“And equally, on the other side allows Barbadians to keep Barbadians employed, and to give Barbadians the opportunity to help the country save a little bit of foreign exchange wherever it is possible, by presenting gifts to your loved ones, your friends, your families, significant others; gifts which are created right here in Barbados,” the minister continued.

More to come

Symmonds also highlighted that schoolchildren participating in the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s BD$20 challenge would be a part of the pop-up marketplace, adding that the Ministry is planning to continue this outlet for SMEs next year during Easter and summer.

The inaugural pop-up marketplace hosted businesses displaying craft items, clothing, local food and drinks, natural wines, hair and body care products, as well as a rejuvenation booth offering massages.

“We felt it was absolutely necessary to mount a programme such as this …where the Barbadian public can interact with them in a commercial way, and to give those folks an opportunity to make sales”

— Barbados Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds

The Bajan Christmas Pop-up Marketplace continues next Saturday, December 5, at Sky Mall, and again on Saturday, December 12, at Emerald City. It concludes on Friday, December 18, at National Heroes Square, The City.

The Bajan Christmas Pop-up Marketplace is a joint collaboration of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association, the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Small Business Association, the Barbados Trust Fund Limited, the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.