Lisa Gale, Executive Director of Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) believes over the last five years the chamber has been rejuvenated attracting new and younger members which augurs well for the development of the private sector in Barbados.
The Barbados Advocate spoke to Gale at the BCCI open day this week, celebrating Barbadian businesses and the history of the chamber at their headquarters.
Gale explained, “The chamber is deeply rooted in history and we celebrate that history, but we have rejuvenated the entity and over the last five years we have worked on making it relevant; because of my role and relationship with younger business heads we have been able to build relationships and partner with different entities. We have done a lot of work in the last five years such as memorandums of understandings with different partners.
"As a private sector organisation we try to chart our path according to where we see the private sector is going. If you look back at six years ago when we decided the green economy was it; we decided we will put some emphasis on that sector, we did some training etcetera. We now have over 150 businesses in the green sector in Barbados today, when we only had about 16 in 2010. They have been challenged over the last two years with the change in government policy, in terms of getting licences etcetera. We have also seen a lot of younger businesses join the chamber and a lot of people are not aware that over 70 per cent of the chamber’s membership falls in the small category. We have had some good years and we want to demystify some of those myths that are out
Gale added, “Today Bridgetown will come alive – it will be cuisine, culture, entertainment – to give visibility to Bridgetown, and boost commerce. A number of businesses have decided with the lighting we have put in place that they will open later. We are also eagerly awaiting the duty-free zone for which Bridgetown will benefit and that will offer value.”