BVI News

Don’t allow predatory businesses to destroy economic climate — Penn


Health Minister Marlon Penn has warned that businesses should be prevented from entering the territory and becoming ‘predatory’ to other businesses.

Legislators were at the time debating the Business Licensing Act, 2020 in the House of Assembly (HOA).

“You cannot allow businesses to come into your territory and destroy the economic climate, the economic foundation of your country because of their purchasing power. We have to guard against that type of behaviour, that kind of predatory type behaviour,“ Penn argued.

He noted that the new Act seeks to address such behaviour.

Penn said businesses that legitimately want to create jobs and opportunities and are socially responsible are welcome in the territory.

However, he said businesses whose only goal is to monopolize the economy, undermine small franchises, and put others out of business present an issue.

“No, no, Premier. That would not happen under my watch. I would continue to speak loudly about it,” Penn said.

It’s about preservation, not protectionism

Penn, who is also the Eighth District Representative, suggested that his concerns are not about ‘protectionism’ but rather about the preservation of small businesses.

And while sounding an alarm about what he called the “Walmart effect“, Penn said the BVI has strived and developed because of the efforts of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs in the territory.

Penn stated that companies which have the purchasing power that is well beyond the BVI’s GDP and annual budget, should not be allowed to come into the territory, set up shop and do as they please.

Such companies undercut small and medium-sized businesses, removing the ability for them to compete and do business within the territory, he said.

According to Penn, some of that same behaviour is happening right now in the territory.


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  1. heckler says:

    After all this talk he still gonna vote for it

    • Sooo says:

      Sooo this law is intended to keep the Brits out, whites out, everyone out so that just the few wealthy negros control all the businesses. How racist of you and all the rest that desire this law. BVI=Apartheid STATE

      Like 17
      Dislike 21
      • @Sooo says:

        And so what? It’s OUR COUNTRY! There are brits, white etc. who are Belongers so your thought process is completely flawed. It’s funny how to most of you the BVI is the worst place but then you still cannot get enough of what it has to offer.

        Like 19
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      • BS says:

        BVI=Apartheid STATE? Not even close to what South Africa was/is!

        Like 14
        Dislike 2
    • Albion says:

      He seems to be more interested in protecting business owners from any competition than protection consumers.

    • Asking For HELP says:

      Does anyone have a working number for the East End Police Station? It is 1.45am and some Rascal is reving his bike in the Fat Hogs Bay. Everytime he does it my poor baby is losing it. I am trying to call the East End Police station but it is just ringing. My goodness. WHHHHYYYYYY YOUNG MAN WHYYY? MY KIDS ARE RESTLESS WITH THE NOISE. YOU WERE ONCE A BABY. YOU HAVE A FAMILY SOMEWHERE SLEEPING IN PEACE. WHERE IS YOUR CONSIDERATION???

    • Beeny says:

      We got our own home grown predators. If someone outside wants to invest I. BVi that a good thing and if a local wants to sell his business he just as predatory cause he making a profit from the sale.

  2. Shrinking says:

    More negative laws will continue shrinking the BVI’s economy until there is nothing here to preserve.

    Fortunately the Guv is in charge now and can stop any proposed legislation from becoming BVI laws.

    Like 14
    Dislike 2
    • Rubber Duck says:

      The most successful eeconomies in the world dont have licenses to start a business, you just start one without officious, bureaucratic and stupid government interfering.

      And the Wallmart effect as he calls it is what brings cheaper food. Not protecting government ministers who own food stores from competition.

      There might be some argument that we want to protect our unique culture and not resemble the rest of the world with fast food disasters and chain stores exactly like everyone elses. But those decisions should be made by some independent body, not by ministers whose families own all the existing businessses.

      • @rubber duck says:

        the walmart effect runs mom and pop stores out of business, and when big store moves or becomes too expensive there is not a viable alternative.

        its happening all over america. i guess you must be one of the few benefiting huh?

  3. And yet... says:

    You still allowed Fr**d-Skeleton-Crime to open a Pizza Franchise in Fish Bay.

    Like 21
    Dislike 1
    • Frenchman's Cay says:

      @And yet, that should be shut and even so moved off our premises at the pier park that he robbed us from!!

      Like 11
    • @ And Yet.... says:

      WTH is predatory about making good pizza? You are missing the point.

      The thing we all seem to have missed are the predatory practices of longstanding businesses like the BVIEC and it’s suppliers and Cable and Wireless, that uses our land and seabed as a major international hub yet treats us like garbage.
      What is Hon Penn going to do about existing dishonorable business practices? This is a smokescreen- GIVE US A CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL!!!!

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  4. Um says:

    You already did. Boatyball is a predator which is doing more harm to our tourism product than good. It’s not owned by anyone in the BVI, doesn’t pay any income to the BVI and is destroying the BVI charter industry.

  5. WEW says:

    What he’s saying is let keep the compitition

  6. WEW says:

    What he’s say is lets keep competition out so that the big local names can continue to contol the economy and keep prices up – make more money.

    Like 15
    Dislike 1
  7. bottom line says:

    Its our country, we built it and can do whatever the h**l we want with it….Who dont like it leave it

    Like 7
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    • Bystander says:

      You built it when at least 60% of the work force, especially the professionally qualified or technically skilled workforce are foreigners???

      And by the way it’s those foreigners who pay most of the taxes, but can’t vote, even after being here years.

      That is one of the reasons all the corruption the CoI uncovered was able to happen.

      Like 14
      Dislike 4
    • Common sense says:

      Incorrect, the BVI is a British territory and you live here at her majesties pleasure, so stop the racist garbage and get a life.

    • JAA says:

      Discouraging myopic post and thinking.

  8. Competition says:

    I can understand the desire to keep out the larger sellers of luxury items, but this ‘preservation’ needs to be balanced against the needs of the people. When it comes to essentials, such as food, we all paying high prices and need the big players to come in, so that we can benefit from the economies of scale. Not everyone has a fat wallet.

    Like 15
  9. ... says:

    At the end of it all if we dont protect small business and provide an environment for them to grow without landing persons in debt then the next generation will be stifled and forced into materializing someone else’s dream lifestyle.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  10. Lancelot says:

    Yes we like it the way it is. With third rate services in most sectors, inflated prices and businesses in the hands of a few who care little for the people and only wish to monopolise their chosen business themselves. Blessed are those with a vested interest in the status quo!!

    Like 12
  11. "Some of the Behaviour"? says:

    YES, YOURS, Mr Penn. Your behaviour.
    The people have been crying for consumer protection legislation for decades and you announce you want to protect us from ‘foreigners who might come in”?

    This is ridiculous, start to finish: none of the HOA actually wants to fix anything or make anything better for the people….games, games, games.

    Like 11
  12. @ BOTTOM LINE says:


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