BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — 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 during 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,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris when he updated the nation during his Aug. 11 press conference.
The prime minister said foreign investors are showing good interest in doing more business in St. Kitts and Nevis and his Government is “encouraging them to do so.”
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,” said Dr. Harris. “July has been the best month with 101 approvals granted.”
The honourable prime minister gave special recognition to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Kittitian and Nevisian people. He said they utilized 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,” said Dr. Harris. “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,” he said. “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.”
In March, 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).