BVI News

Too long now! Give businesses their stimulus — Opposition Leader

Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn is advocating for the business community to receive their long-awaited stimulus package from the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Addressing the issue via a statement on Thursday, Penn said while he is ‘glad’ that government heeded their ‘many calls’ not to completely shut down the territory because of the spike in COVID-19 cases, the new curfew still places a challenge to the business community.

“The new curfew order has created limited hours of work for the majority of our residents, which will place many at an even greater financial disadvantage. I urge the government to give the highest priority to supporting our small businesses and to concentrate on fixing our economy. And by fixing our economy, I am not talking about pretty charts on social media,” Penn stated.

“Our response to COVID-19 that is the initial 24-hour lockdown, and the further ongoing restrictions have taken a serious toll on our businesses’ ability to make money, pay their employees, and pay their bills,” he added.

The Opposition leader said many businesses across the territory have closed their doors — some temporarily and others permanently — and many have tried to stay afloat and support their employees with their own personal finances.

He said many are still awaiting the promised fiscal stimulus either from the Unemployment/Underemployment Benefits Programme (or Income Relief Support Programme) or the economic stimulus grant for businesses.

“I know this to be true because many persons and businesses have complained to me personally. To this end, as a strong advocate for the business community, I challenge the government and its agencies to become more efficient and ensure that our businesses receive their much-needed financial help immediately. It has been far too long,” Penn stated.

In May, Premier Andrew Fahie announced that $10 million had been allocated to an Unemployment Relief Fund which will be managed by the Social Security Board.

The initiative is part of the government’s economic stimulus plan and is geared at assisting residents whose employment status have been affected as a result of COVID-19.

A $6.5 million grant was earmarked as a relief programme for micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

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  1. LB says:

    The rest is the world giving individuals a stimulus. But we smarty panta giving to businesses (most of which are closed) like that alone is relief. Yes try to help the medium and small businesses. Of course but!

    UK and Canada been paying like 80% of people salary every month. USA giving $1200 a month. This is regardless if you are still getting paid or not. Now that is real money going back in to the economy to pay rents, buy food, buy gas etc. Thank God the Banks gave a break for a few months but landlords still demanding rent. USA just made it so that no landlord could evict any tenant through the end of the year.

    How about facilitating low interest loans from government or backed by government for every citizen equal to up to 1.5 times your monthly salary? Repay able beginning Jan 31, 2021. Lil 2% interest. Make it easy for people to access for everyone with 2 months pay stubs, proof of citizenship and permanent physical residence. Small loans that are easily repay able so persons don’t get over leveraged. Government gets some interest. People get access to cash to pay some bills and keep the economy going. (The finance people can flesh out the details here.

    Giving so-called stimulus to businesses that are closed or done laid offf staff does not have the same impact. It will not trickle down. Especially when, in our economy, most people work in Tourism and except for Maria’s those medium to large businesses are long closed. This government’s stimulus package is pure BS.

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  2. ayo blind? says:

    Only people like patcy, klydee and jamesz dem getting stimulus

    Like 10
  3. Wiseman says:

    Marlon making noise for himself not for you the people. Always remember that he made no noise under the NDP administration for eight years while he sneakingly break down and d*****d his party members. If you never see a … then here is your opportunity.

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  4. FOR REAL says:

    I heard people are getting $25 and $30 assiatnce from SS.

  5. ThE SOUND says:


  6. The Nation says:

    Sorry but this Opposition Leader playing politics…he and his NDP run the government dry…he watch while his fellow NDP ministers waste 1M on a wall, $40M on a pier and take $8M from his sewerage project and another $7M in a plane that never fly and going have the GAUL to tell Premier Fahie pay stimulus now?!!! UK ain’t giving us any money…we should have had the $48M plus that your NDP Government “Waste” to pay the stimulus and Andrew woulda done pay it…I ain’t a party person…I just call it like it is…Marlon please hush and go siddung…you is part of the problem…

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    • Styler says:

      The Nation I quite agree with you he needs to go SidDung playing politics he sit his rass down said nothing he now braying like a jackass he’s my Cuz only a show. His party Government have us where we are today. Only heaven knows what they sign off in the UK make the Governor giving Andrew so much hell but God don’t sleep he’s going bring out the BVI hold strong Hon Fahie and team

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    • Banana Republic says:

      The BVI has really become a banana republic. This Government is in power for almost 2 yrs and you still talking about NDP? News flash the NDP lost and they won. They need to do there job!

      Premier took 40 million from social security as a grant and can’t get anything to people yet.
      1 million for farming and fishing – No one has gotten help as yet
      6.5 for small business – 0 dollars handed out
      11.5 unemployment – last up date just over 3 million gone to the people

      And your defending this ineptness from our Government? The NDP paid for their missteps and they will have to defend but this Government is the mist inept I’ve ever seen. Them even can’t give away money. God will have to see for all of us.

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    • Frenchman says:

      Gall not Gaul.

  7. Mumo says:

    Marlon was a backbencher in his party . His role is different now . Ayo to foolish . What he is saying now has Now nothing to do With his function then
    . That is what the state of politics is about . Go learn sense

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  8. Haha says:

    Marlon I still waiting on the landlord tenant act promised in 2 NDP manifestos. Because of your team we had to pay full rent for damaged homes during Irma, NDP also mentioned reviewing increasing payroll tax exemption. That’s 8 years we waiting on NDP and you here bawling about waiting a few months. You didn’t fix sewage or the High School. You made the BVI make the rare list of places without a public library. Stop being an opposer and do some work ,Your research team is terrible. You haven’t uncovered anything about VIP because all you doing is playing opposites.

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    • You Jokers says:

      Again here we go with this NDP recitation. Are you guys really serious! News Flash we’re tired of this NDP this NDP that your team is in charge go do some work.

      I hope the people reading how you VIP minions feel about them. Your talking about only a few months for stimulus. Tell that to the family in Tourism who haven’t gotten a paycheck since March and don’t know where the next meal will come form or if they will the have a roof over there head because they can’t pay their rent or mortgage. And still can’t their unemployment check, that it has only been a few months.

      Tell that to the landlords for commercial and residential rental properties who can’t collect rent because there renters can’t pay and the bank is calling because the can’t pay their loans, that its only been a few months.

      Tell that to the small business whose doors have been shut since March and their business is their only source of income and don’t know where next to turn because they haven’t gotten there business grant. Tell them it’s only been a few months.

      Your people are out of touch and lack empathy for the reality of the circumstances of families and businesses in this territory. That’s why you could speak callously and here with this NDP nonsense when people are struggling the real way.

      You must be a government worker or crony getting paid to chat silliness while people are loosing there minds out here.

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  9. wait says:

    business stimulus will be coming, just in time for the reopening of the borders and will be a great boost to restart the full economy. The Premier is playing the long game and doing so well. Imagine back in April beinf tolf no stimulus till September…soon

    • @wait says:

      What long game, stop chatting p!$$! Premier don’t have a clue what he’s doing. He’s guess and games with the people lives and livelihoods. He’s a real conman, think he could talk his way out of anything. Myron made a mistake, this premier is the real emperor without clothes. The said thing with version of the story is a lot of the people don’t know that he doesn’t have on clothes either.

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  10. 1st district says:

    In the meanwhile, while we the people are inmates in our homes for a cold our tourism assets leaving our shores. This is due to no responce from this government to them, NOT EVEN A MEETING. THIS IS OUR 2ND ECONOMIC PILLAR. AND THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT THEM…. I SAY TO THEM KEEP SAILING ON OUT OF HERE!!

    Like 1
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  11. Bad boy says:

    Still waiting on my stimulus

  12. Too long says:

    Too long you say?? Laid off workers are still waiting for theirs after so many months.

  13. SMDH says:

    He must think the employees in trade are robots. Application process opened on July 21,2020 and closed on August 21,2020. Same people you worked with when you were in government. Does he thin there were only two applications submitted

    • @smdh says:

      Hon. Penn absolutely correct yes. You need to get off your behind and get some support to the businesses. Premier announced this since the May 28th. 3 entire months has gone and absolutely no one has gotten assistance and your looking a pass for this inefficiency!??? This situation is urgent and dire for some of us!

      Some of you in that department don’t give a rats a$$ about the people because you’re getting your pay checks every 15th and 30th. Department need cleaning from Top to bottom.

    • @smdh says:

      Hon. Penn absolutely correct yes. You need to get off your behind and get some support to the businesses. Premier announced this since the May 28th. 3 entire months has gone and absolutely no one has gotten assistance and your looking a pass for this inefficiency!??? This situation is urgent and dire for some of us!

      Some of you in that department don’t give a rats a$$ about the people because you’re getting your pay checks every 15th and 30th. Department need cleaning from Top to bottom.

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