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Jan 3, 2013

Chamber says slew of increases has business community on the edge

Kay Menzies

Electricity rates are going up by sixteen point eight-seven percent; that is the latest in a slew of increases that the business community is facing. According to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the increases are putting the business community on the edge and businesses under serious financial pressure.  Kay Menzies, the president of the Chamber says that to stay afloat, some businesses may need to make drastic cuts while others may not survive.

 

Kay Menzies, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce

“The view right now of the entire business community is how much are we to bear. As it is, we’ve had the situation the other day where our own public officials are going across the border to shop because things are “cheaper there.” We are facing increased electricity rates, higher trade license in some cases; there was an increase in minimum wage sometime last year and other increases along the way; we are sure are probably coming. And at some point in all of this, somebody has got to figure out that unless these cost start to come down or are offset by reduced costs in other places—and I will comment we had at least a decrease in internet rates—but if you keep increasing the costs, at some point something is going to give. And the business community is in pain and has been in pain for quite some time. The economy might nor might not be facing a fragile recovery. This is no way to ensure that that recovery lasts. And the fact is that between that, with fuel prices and everything else, businesses are under severe pressure and needing some help from somewhere to find some relief.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Can they handle this additional burden? How are they taking it at this point?”

 

Kay Menzies

“Some have already told us, even before the notice of the electricity increases came; that they are on the edge—that they are going to have to decide in 2013 whether or not they’ll continue. Others are being as philosophical as they can, but they are going to have to make cuts in order to find a way to pay the bills. We all know how that goes. At no point is this greeted with any kind of pleasure at all as you can imagine. I think it is a matter at this point of time of asking the government and we are asking the government, “Where exactly we can begin at bringing down the cost of doing business?” We have already asked for tax reform, we asked for a look at government’s own operations in terms of the cost of government is what we pay for in taxes. So if we can reduce the cost of government, we can reduce taxes and businesses will have an immediate cost reduction there in some respects. And other answers that if we work with government we can find the answer. But certainly it does not add to the situation when you have various municipal authorities saying well we are going to increase the trade license because you weren’t paying fairly anyway; not just the fine, the increases and simply take it. We are not in a position to just take it.”

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6 Responses for “Chamber says slew of increases has business community on the edge”

  1. Storm says:

    Let’s start by reducing government spending to things that are appropriate and necessary for a government — security, education, public infrastructure, and basic emergency healthcare. “That government governs best which governs least.”

    Then taxes can be reduced responsibly, and what is left of private entrepreneurs in the Jewel can create jobs and prosperity. Government cannot do that, because it produces nothing.

  2. Ricky Malthus says:

    The Chamber of Commerce must tell the City Council that its members shall not pay for any Trade License because businesses have paid taxes to operate. The City Council receives SUBVENTIONS to run the city. Let the Council produce the financial records to show where all this money is going. There is no logic for the Council to seek additional revenues to perform the same functions like picking up the garbage, maintain the streets, and pick up the dog poop. So what else is the Council’s function ? Is it to negotiate foreign treaties ,or organize an armed militia to ward off foreign invaders? let’s see how our tax money is spent by Darrel Bradley and his cronies. You Blackguards!!! Eliminate Trade Licensing. It is theft and blackmail.

  3. Analyst says:

    so City is concreting streets, who pays the workers, where is that money coming from, the 20 million Bond? which City Concillor got the contract. the press needs to start digging for details. was the steel utilized approved by a Civil Engineer, and if so who from the association of Engineers..why are all Lawyers trade license so low. why when streets are consreted they are made narrower.

  4. Terrified says:

    Lets wake up ppl, Bze is ours not only for government officials. They are the only ones getting all the benefits and distroying the country!! If this continues we are marching towards a civil war. Politicians are doing nothing good, they are spending our money!!! plz ppl lets wake up!!! We can make them work for us, not us work for them as slaves with a meangy salary while they are earning thousands plus allowances, free fuel and fancy vehicles!!!!!! They are the ones that do the policies and ensure to get the best because there is nothing in place that breaks them from their greediness. Bze only have a few wealthy families and are the same ones that are running the country. I am sure that the same thing that happened in El Salvador will happen here not far away.

  5. Eye in the Sky says:

    How do you make a little money in Belize?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .Start with a lot of money.

  6. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    What about those latest models driven by this SET OF GANGS?
    WE ALSO PAY FOR THAT!!!!

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