Former Ambassador to Cuba Bruce Goodwin says the sitting Antigua Labour Party Administration is not a government that has the best interest of the business community at heart.
He says this has been demonstrated in the past and continues to be the case at present.
Since 1989, Goodwin was deeply involved with local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and – as the owner of a manufacturing company that produced souvenirs and apparel – was the president and founder of the Small Business Association.
Goodwin says the association was active as a business representative. It believed that good business is facilitated by good politics and the political environment should be favourable to businesses for them to grow and thrive.
However, given the history of the Labour Party as an anti-local business organization, he says, he is not surprised that many indigenous businesses went under during the pandemic.
He says the anti-local business culture exists even today under this administration; and if one is not a member of the party, or associated with the ALP, then one’s business is stagnated, Goodwin says.
Meanwhile, the United Progressive Party (UPP) believes in creating an enabling environment for businesses to prosper. It has demonstrated this through a number of ventures, including its “Small Business Pull-up” series, which had its finale on Saturday, December 10, in St. Phillip’s South.
After the UPP patronized and brought exposure to hundreds of small establishments throughout Antigua’s 16 constituencies, as well as to the Public Market, the ALP “cogged” the idea and executed a similar initiative at the market last weekend.
As a result, residents say the Administration continues to show that it is devoid of ideas.
One woman says the Labour Party just steals ideas and then boasts about the amount of money it spends in trying to outdo a party it claims is not fit to lead.
If the UPP destroyed the economy with its ideas, as the ALP charges, “then why is the Labour Party continuing to steal them? Are they not afraid that these same ideas will destroy the country?” she asks.