The SBA Plays its Part in the Fight Against COVID-19

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-economic climate of Barbados, the Small Business Association (SBA) held two informative sessions for small business practitioners to assess the implications arising for the sector and to better ready themselves. 

At the first session, small business owners were advised to prepare for the worst as the nation saw its first confirmed cases of COVID-19 and to implement critical strategic plans and procedures to ensure their firm’s survival. In addition to this, the SBA team conducted a survey to capture the key concerns of small business owners in relation to the coronavirus which would enable the association to lobby effectively for appropriate solutions to the crisis at hand for the small business sector. 

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(Representative of the Pan American Health Organisation, Dr. Yitades Gebre making his presentation)

Representative of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Yitades Gebre, also presented attendees with credible international data on the number of coronavirus cases and deaths recorded worldwide. Despite the number of cases presently recorded for Barbados being relatively low in comparison to countries like the United States of America, the PAHO representative stressed the necessity of prevention as there is still no known cure for the disease. Dr. Gebre encouraged attendees to realise the necessity of slowing the spread of the disease to ensure that the public health system does not become overwhelmed and collapse.

To do this, Dr. Gebre stated that all persons should engage in the standard precautionary measures outlined by PAHO and the Ministry of Health including staying at home, cleaning your hands, engaging in social distancing, raising your immunity, the correct use of masks and avoiding fake news.

The second session was led by advisor from PAHO in water, sanitation and environmental health, Mr. Adrianus Vlugman and provided front-line workers including food handlers, taxi drivers and janitors, with practical tips and information to safeguard themselves and others while on the job.  Additionally, persons in the janitorial service industry were also given a short demonstration on how to correctly apply and remove personal protective equipment for their safety. 

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(PAHO advisor for the Caribbean in water, sanitation and environmental health, Mr. Adrianus Vlugman, addressing attendees)

Since the hosting of these sessions, the state of affairs have changed locally to reflect the growing number of confirmed cases, resulting in the closure of all non-essential businesses. Despite this, the Small Business Association remains committed to guiding the sector through this process of uncertainty, as the world emerges from this global pandemic. As a result, members can look forward to online webinars and the sharing of other useful information via the association’s social media platforms in the months to come.