SBA Chairman's Remarks at the 4th Annual State of the Sector Conference

SBA’s Chairman, Mr. Neil Corbin shared his perspectives during the opening session at the 4th annual State of the Sector Conference September 2022, under the theme – “Exploring the Digital Frontier; the Next Business Revolution”.

Mr. Corbin underscored that the theme was aptly chosen to help stakeholders explore the disruptions being experienced on account of the coronavirus pandemic, and the resultant rise in the use of technology, in the way persons live and do business.

The chairman placed emphasis on this disruption, as influencing new ways to develop and deliver goods and services, and providing opportunities for firms to adopt new business models that are nimble, economical and relevant for today’s consumers.

Mr. Corbin referenced a survey conducted amongst SBA’s members showing that more than 90% of firms used emails as their main mode of communication and over 50% used either a website and/or social media page for their marketing. Though commendable he believed that there was some distance to go in being tech savvy as a sector.

The chairman offered three solutions to the improvements needed for consideration. He first mentioned the need to promote financial technologies and facilitate expansion in this area as part of the overall growth strategy for the economy.

Secondly, an enabling business environment was required for businesses to flourish. Legislation was needed beyond the Data Protection Act, on issues of cybersecurity and cybercrime. Mr. Corbin stated that such improvements were required to protect both consumer and business alike, operating in the digital space.

Thirdly, reliable and safe access to broadband and internet services to enable the entry in the market of entrepreneurs and small business owners to innovate, engage consumers on the go and facilitate actual trade of goods & services at the speed of business.

Additionally, the chairman welcomed the announcement by Government to establish Smart Cities, as this initiative would enable business owners the access required to do business online, from key locations around the island.