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Still struggling: drop in registered businesses expected

The commercial district of Road Town months after the hurricane. (BVI News Photo)

Though the territory has made considerable progress in recovery since the hurricanes, the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) said a number of private sector businesses are still struggling.

In fact, Chairman of the association Louis Potter said the BVICCHA is anticipating a drop in the number of businesses registered in the organisation this year.

Roughly 250 member businesses are registered with the BVICCHA.

“Without a doubt, some of the businesses are not operational because of the hurricane, and while we are hoping and encouraging [membership], we do anticipate that there will be some reduction,” Potter said.

He said the association expects a reduction because businesses were still trying to recover from the catastrophic natural disasters as well as post-hurricane crime.

“We don’t have hard stats but the majority of members were certainly affected – a very large number. Those that were not affected by the floods were affected by the hurricane, the winds, and then you have the looting after that.

He said the BVICCHA has been enquiring when local businesses anticipate getting back on their feet.

However, some don’t know, Potter said.

“We are getting varying dates and some are saying they are not sure.”

The territory was impacted by a devastating tropical wave in August and two category 5 hurricanes in September last year.

The extreme weather events caused widespread destruction, severely impacted tourism and business sectors across the territory, and spiked the local unemployment rate.

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6 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    It seems amazing to me how many BVI businesses carried no proper insurance so were effectively wiped out by the combination of Irma and the floods. It would be interesting to know the statistics on that.

    • Ning says:

      If you are amazed that they don’t have insurance then you would be even more amazed for the reason they do not have it. We have a culture here of suffering in silence and I believe that some businesses just weren’t doing as well as you might have thought. In the last ten years there has been a greater increase in operating expenses then collected revenues. Something we should be keeping our eyes on but when we find it better to present false and inflated numbers to keep appearances up what else.

  2. Watcher says:

    It seems there is no law requiring businesses to have public and employer liability insurance. Which, if true, is amazing. The proposed landlord and tenant act should compel landlords to have building insurance.

  3. Anonymity says:

    There is no Health & Safety Legislation…

  4. Liam Walton says:

    If the BVI government is so concerned about mitigating the threat of future environmental catastrophes brought on by global warming then it’s time to seriously examine their encouragement of the cruise ship industry for short term financial gains.
    The cruise ship industry and mass tourism is notoriously harmful to the environment, exploitative and unsustainable. They are a big cog in the global warming machine.
    If the BVI and other small Caribbean island states are truly concerned about their long-term future then it is time to take a stand and reject mass tourism and stop cruise ships from calling at their ports.
    People’s sympathy will quickly wear thin if you keep crying about threat of global warming but take no serious steps to prevent it.
    Act now or be prepared to face many more Irma’s in the future.

  5. WHAT.. says:

    Labor and Immigration still running things. Although they say they expediting renewals, etc. People have been waiting over 3 months for renewals. I have been waiting for a new one for 5 months. Workers and supplies are 2 of the holdups for businesses also. I am in the Tourism Industry also… Some people can do things for themselves without having to ask the gov. for help but we are then held up by the ones that run things…

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