October 19, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Small businesses struggle – rid red tape!

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It is difficult for small businesses to survive. Cayman Islands Minister Joey Hew was given this message loud and clear when he visited the office of the Cayman Islands Small Business Association (CISBA) recently.

The main cause, said Dawn McLean-Sawney CISBA President, is the cost of loans. Better concessions on them are required otherwise it is a recipe for disaster.

Other problems small business owners face is finding premises to set up, confusion with definitions of micro employees categories i.e. 1-3 employees and 4-10 employees when it came to employee benefits, and the ubiquitous red tape.

He listened and said, “Government’s involvement, happily, does not end with merely providing annual grants to CISBA but also to follow their progress and jointly find ways to tackle and help find solutions to issues they face.”

For years small business owners, not just here, but all over the world have been crying for legislators to remove the red tape.

This was echoed recently in an article by Jennifer Warawa on the website The Hill. She makes some very important points regarding the need for tax concessions for US businesses. Concessions on our own government fees here was asked for by Sawney.

Warawa says, “In general, American small business owners love business growth. They generally do not love regulatory or financial red tape in its way. The core tenets of business growth — including building headquarter headcount, launching offices in new geographies and connecting an evolving supply chain — all come with tax implications.”

“Small business is the backbone of the U.S. Economy,” Warawa claims. “According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small and medium-sized businesses account for 66 percent of all new jobs created in the country. Small business owners also hold the lionshare of financial responsibility for growing these vital ventures and creating jobs for people around the country.”

For U.S. read Cayman Islands.

Red tape is not only killing small businesses but it is also the moan of larger companies. If they have problems with bureaucracy then they should appreciate that it even worse for their smaller brethren.

Too much red tape can slow a company’s ability to respond to market changes and distract it from building differentiating capabilities. The consequences of these obstacles can result in serious harm for companies struggling to retain a competitive advantage.

Therefore why isn’t there a Bureaucracy Measurement Index (BMI)? We have stats for everything else. My iPhone even tells me how many steps I have taken in a day and how many miles I have covered. And I didn’t even programme it in.

I’m sure there must be an App for BMI. If not perhaps our CISBA can come up with one and send it to Joey Hew.

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