BVI News

Opposition proposes plan for small business in absence of govt’s economic stimulus

Noting what they describe as the government’s ‘inability to present a fully-articulated economic stimulus plan’ to date, the parliamentary Opposition has released what it believes to be a feasible plan of action for the British Virgin Islands.

A key part of that multiple-layered plan involves initiatives to support and sustain small and medium-sized businesses.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn proposed that government implement an Employment Support Facility that provides ‘wage support’ through individual grants of up to $10,000.

He recommended that $5 million be earmarked for this initiative and said these grants should be paid directly to eligible employers.

Loan funding facility

The Opposition Leader said government could also implement a Loan Funding Facility where small businesses can qualify to borrow no more than $100,000. He further recommended that $15 million be dumped into this facility.

“Both the Employment Support and Loan Funding facilities should be used solely for wages, fixed costs, operational support, or debt servicing. In addition, the employment support could be used to cover the transition period to apply and obtain loan funding. In any event, all of these measures must be tied to businesses maintaining at least 50% of their workforce,” Penn stated.

Payroll tax waiver

He said government could also bring support to small businesses by implementing a three-month waiver on payroll taxes.

He further said the significance of keeping businesses opened could not be overstated.

“It is simple, if businesses are not able to withstand the impact of COVID-19 and do not come out on the other side of this with their doors open, there will be less economic activity, less contributions to government’s coffers, less monies circulating, and a sustained decline in our economy,” said Penn, who noted that the plan was drafted after listening to residents.

Notably, Premier Andrew Fahie has said, his administration’s full plan is being worked on and should be presented ‘soon’.


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  1. foy ain't ready says:

    We just need 3 vip’s to cross over and get the economy going

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    Dislike 9
  2. hmm says:

    Better than waiving stamp duty. Seriously who was that supposed to help at this time?

    Like 19
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    • vip heckler says:

      The rich and famous

      Like 8
      Dislike 1
    • Rob da hood says:

      Simple they tax 7% on the low income earners and exempt 4% on the high income earners.That is not Robin hood economics…We call that Rob da hood economics…

      Stimulus supposed to be well targeted so it can affect a large amount of people to really make an impact. No way this will make an impact. Add to that the tax exempt is only for a short period of time until 31st May and I am told that you have to pay the tax and then get it refunded.

      Like 8
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  3. Clearly says:

    The Opposition is playing politics but we welcome their input but still want VIP to lead us now.

    Like 6
    Dislike 16
  4. Enough says:

    Let’s stop playing politics with the biggest worldwide disaster in history.

    Like 9
    Dislike 8
  5. effort made says:

    If i am to get a loan just to pay wages. Nothing to do with profit just wages. That business will be at a total lost and the borrowing institution will be giving away their funds.

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  6. Rabsatt says:

    Take it easy Penn! Im still waiting on Fahie , I know he wouldnt let us down.

    Like 2
    Dislike 14
    • @Rab says:

      He has been letting you down. Is the aid going to come when the businesses are already gone? Months have gone by and the only help that Foy has provided is a waiver of Stamp Duty to his cronies and relatives. All for the rich and famous. What has he done for the common man that he was to be the voice for?

      Like 16
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  7. Anything? says:

    Anything in it for for Digicel?

  8. Reality Check says:

    Loans to employers aren’t going to go to the employees who need the money, just into employer’s pockets. Stick to unemployment relief so the money goes to where it is needed. If it has to be given to employers there needs to be credible proof, social security and NHI payment receipts and pay stubs signed by the employees, that it actually went to employees, or it will be just like the US where it went to companies with no strings attached.

  9. Right Sed Fred says:

    Send some support Foy. so many people out of work, and nothing coming until October.

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