Abstract This study analyses the period 1990 to 1996 of the current situation of the small and medium-sized industrial enterprises (SMIs) in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia. It describes the evolution of SMIs, the country experiences regarding linkages amongst firms and the policy instruments aimed at promoting SMIs and their impact. The small enterprises have well established support programmes and they are considered to be dependent on direct government support through subsidized financing and other mechanisms and are essentially inward looking in terms of development. The medium-sized enterprises, on the other hand, see themselves as having emerged from the small business group and moved to modernize business by the introduction of higher level technology and more efficient means of production, they are also considered by many financial and other support agencies as Emerging Enterprises". In each of the three countries, the respective Government has identified the manufacturing sector as important to national development and specifically the SMIs, as a group that requires special government attention. To this end special agencies have been established to address the specific needs of SMIs."