Govt. lifts supermarket licences moratorium

PHILIPSBURG–Government has paved the way for new supermarkets to operate in the country after it lifted a four-year moratorium on the issuance of business and operational licences for supermarkets.

A public notice issued to the media by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) said the moratorium established on February 18, 2014, on the issuance of business and operational licences for supermarkets, including the amendments entitled “Supermarkets Moratorium” dated July 3, 2015, and June 1, 2017, has been lifted.

Minister Miklos Giterson said in the notice the lifting of the moratorium went into effect three weeks ago, as of March 1. He said the measure was considered necessary because government needs to facilitate the further development of the supermarket industry, and it needs to mitigate the impact of the current composition of the supermarket industry and the quality of its service on the economy of St. Maarten, particularly post Hurricane Irma.

He said also the lifting of the moratorium was necessary because government “holds strongly” that this sector is an economic driver to alleviate deficiencies post-Hurricane Irma and to stimulate economic activity in terms of employment creation and price reduction for the country’s citizens due to increased competition.

Source: The Daily Herald