Surviving the C-19 pandemic has and will continue to be a major challenge to the economy.
Business survival has been dependent on a number of factors, not least to how the lock-down regulations have dictated to business to what is permitted and NOT permitted.
Shortly after 26th March – with almost all business being closed, the only sustaining contribution was the various support and grant assistance packages from the Command Council directives.
Following AND complying with the regulations and sustaining our businesses has and will be for the next six months at least, a huge challenge for all. We remember the scramble to register our enterprise, to complying with the criteria for TERS and Small Business Assistance, and others.
Some have simply failed and received no assistance – whilst some have received a small part (token) of what was claimed, and often with no reconciliation – did not know what was what?
Perhaps the most important lesson / message is to examine your own compliance and good standing. Many enterprises learned that support assistance was / is not automatic, and unless you meet statutory regulations, you did not even pass GO!
Other challenging aspect were complying with the Local and District Command Centers, which initially functioned well, with the BKCOB having a seat wherein we represented the members and business sector. Arguing who should be exempt and who not, became an exercise of interpretation and business can be glad for the person who championed every case. This more so as we moved from level 5 to level 4 and so on.
However, as time and C-19 took its toll, the JOC’s met less and less, and ultimately failed to give clear direction on the lock-down regulations. This included sectors such as Landscaping, Auto repairs and sales, Hairdressing, Laundry’s, etc.
The BKCOB consistently argue in the enforcement of the regulations and amendments, and argue on the more and less principle. The spread of the virus is NOT because of business, its smore to do with a disobedient civil society that will not comply. This does not exclude business that fail in observing regulations.
2021 will continue to record cases and fatalities. Chamber urge business to be responsible, and ensure they do not become spreaders. Respect the distancing, sanitizing AND the mandatory wearing of masks.
Only in this way can the economy grow and recover.
Chamber thank the authorities for respecting the Voice of Business, and permitting representation at the highest level. We also thank the media for consistently helping to get the message to members, business to all citizens.
A blessing to all readers over the festive season. Be well and be safe & wear a mask at all times
Statement by: Les Holbrook, Mark Wilson & Adrè Bartis