Covid-19 and Businesses in St. Maarten
COPING WITH THE COVID-19 CRISIS: WHAT TO EXPECT MOVING FORWARD?
Let’s face it, COVID has shrunk the global economy and St. Maarten and the Caribbean have been affected as well. As a business owner, what can you expect to see moving forward? While it’s difficult to predict at this point, here are some tips that you can rely on to support you throughout the uncertainty.
1-Compliance is key
Make sure your company documents are up to date. It’s likely that with the current economic and health climate, you can expect enhanced government controls and inspections.You should ensure that you have properly displayed on the walls of your business the following documents for the current year:
– Chamber of Commerce Registration
– Business License
– Director’s License
Your CRIB number should also be displayed to confirm that your business has been registered at the tax office.
2- Keep your records on hand
If you’re faced with a visit from the Inspectorate, aside from the documents above, ensure you have your Labor registration and SZV registration on hand for the current year. Your personnel list should also be up to date and reflect all persons currently employed at the business establishment. It’s also important that all documentation showing that the employees have legal stay on the island are on file. This includes passports and applicable residency or work permits, as well as labor agreements, and past payroll records.
3-Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will
Most businesses have seen a decline in revenues and that’s because our economy is primarily tourism based. Consider an action plan involving your employees in a manner that can sustain both the business and their employment through these times. Open communication and transparency build trust and can help support both employers and employees in maintaining the relationship for the long run.
4-Consider registering your business as temporarily inactive
If you currently have no employees and your business is not actively operating at this time, consider a temporary inactivation. This can be done by way of a Board resolution and registered at the Chamber of Commerce, Tax Department, and SZV. You can choose to retain your licenses once the annual fees are maintained and you can reactivate your business once you decide to become operational again.
Do you have any questions?