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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