As the Virgin Islands’ economy bounces back from the pandemic recession over the past two years, the rise in the costs of goods and services has hit small- and medium-sized businesses severely as they continue to work hard to return to their normal operations. Interruptions in global logistics and supply chains have significantly impacted consumer pricing. Locally, the recent increase in port fees has contributed to the new cost of living, affecting consumers and businesses alike.
Many businesses operating below normal revenue levels in 2020 and 2021 have had to balance keeping their doors open and prices fixed. A local retail business owner shared that it has been difficult to keep customers happy, and he hopes that there will be light at the end of the tunnel soon and prices will stabilize. In the tourism sector, companies have expressed that they are looking forward to the 2023 season with cautious optimism as there are healthy reservation bookings for the upcoming season.
In the face of all this, the business community has recently expressed serious concerns about changes coming in the new Business License Act and the possible impacts on the cost of doing business. Since there is a window before the legislation goes into effect, the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) is planning to continue the dialogue from pre-Irma consultations and host discussion forums with public officials and the business community to better understand the new requirements. Resources explaining the expectations for business owners and entrepreneurs in the new business normal will be developed and available via the Chamber’s website in the coming weeks.
To keep up to date, business owners can visit the Chamber’s website at www.bviccha.org for upcoming events or learn more about business services and programs. If you would like to join the Chamber, the membership application is available on the website by clicking the JOIN button. For more information, feel free to call us at (284) 345-3513 or send an email to email@example.com.