PHILIPSBURG–New business openings are up in St. Maarten as the number of business closures declines, pointing to the resilience of the local economy post-Hurricane Irma, according to St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) in its first quarter figures.
The top five categories of new registrations were construction and engineering companies, bar/restaurant/snack bars, clothing stores, cleaning companies and administration entities.
New business registrations in the first quarter of 2018 stand at 279 compared to the first quarter of 2017 (219).
Business closures are recorded as 43 versus 64 in the same period last year, and there were 50 inactive businesses compared to 82 in the first quarter of last year.
“We are seeing the creation of new businesses,” said COCI board President Stanley Lint in a press statement on Sunday. Some of those new businesses were incorporated by persons who became unemployed due to Irma’s impact; others have identified business opportunities and believed the time was right to put things into motion.
COCI Executive Director Anastacio Baker and Lint called on all businesses to be prepared now and be vigilant especially in the peak of the hurricane season. Even though the country is slowly bouncing back, we are in another hurricane season, they said.
Businesses must be prepared for the season by securing facilities, law enforcement must have a plan for the pre-arrival of a storm and to deal with situations after “to protect the fragile economic engines” of the country.
COCI calls on all employees to prepare for the hurricane season and for business owners and employees to work together in making those preparations.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/77694-coci-new-businesses-open-doors-while-closures-down