BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 11, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The high level of business confidence that exists in St. Kitts and Nevis, even during this time of uncertainty brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, is being attributed to the excellent management of the Federation’s economy by the Team Unity administration over the last five years.
“Generally, the business confidence remains good. This is due largely to our excellent management of the economy prior to COVID-19 which saved lives and kept our citizens and residents safe,” Prime Minister Harris said when he updated the nation during his press conference today (August 11) at the NEMA Headquarters.
The prime minister added that foreign investors are showing good interest in doing more business here in St. Kitts and Nevis and his Government is “encouraging them to do so.”
It was revealed that between January to July of 2020, the number of business licences in St. Kitts and Nevis reached its highest level with 463 approvals, compared to 414 over the comparative period in 2019.
“This achievement is commendable given the dramatic fall in applications for businesses experienced in April 2020 directly attributable to the uncertainty and unpredictability brought on by COVID-19,” Dr. Harris said, while noting that July has been the best month with 101 approvals granted.
The honourable prime minister also used his remarks at the press conference to give special recognition to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Kittitian and Nevisian people for utilizing the opportunities available to them for new forms of income generation activities in the face of COVID-19.
“We see entities diversify into mask making and producing hand sanitizers right here in our islands. We saw innovation in entertainment at the lawns of Frigate Bay with drive-in movies now available on weekends. We commend the creativity and ingenuity of our people. We encourage those displaced as a result of COVID-19 to think through how they can apply their skills to new opportunities for self-employment. New providers of PCR testing are likely to emerge. This is important as we open our borders there will be increasing demand for COVID-19 tests. The delivery of quality lab services will help the efficiency and effectiveness of our response for tests as more visitors enter our beautiful Country,” Prime Minister Harris stated.
In March of this year, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis introduced a comprehensive $120-million stimulus package to help cushion the economic fall-out as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One aspect of the stimulus response was the injection of $5million into the FRESH Start programme to provide support to Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).