Caribbean Business Report for 23rd March 2020- Day one of St. Lucia’s partial shut-down.

Day one of the partial shutdown in St. Lucia and I guess most of you are working from home [as much as possible] and avoiding groups of people. I never share Whatsapp videos but here is an exception on Coronavirus.

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Right now there is a lot out there so always do you own research to verify the info and claims made.
In Germany, right now, a group is defined as ‘two people’ – so three’s a  mass crowd event. President Merkel is in self-isolation – goes to show that the coronavirus does not recognise social, economic or political status. Again one cannot stress enough how critical it is to avoid situations that can expose you to the coronavirus. The quicker this spread can be contained the better for the world economy and consequently that of St. Lucia and the ECCU.
As you can imagine most of our stories today have to do with the response to the Coronavirus – Massy Stores is aggresively working on keeping its workers safe and operations running smoothly; Sagicor is supporting the OECS through the financing of digital temperature sensors; Peter and Company Distribution is fine-tuning its system to ensure the supply chain remains intact and shelves around the island stocked.
It’s a bit different at hotels right now as visitor flows dry up. Provides pause and time to reflect  on the vulnerability of our economic model. In the scheme of things its never in alphabetical order as agriculture [food security] and climate change -come after Tourism, Manufacturing and Financial Services etc. There will be enough time for conversations on all of the above.
In the meantime – this week’s headlines.

  • St. Lucia/OECS anxiously brace for major COVID-19 impacts
  • St. Lucia under partial shut-down Monday March 23rd to April 5th
  • BOSL announces changes in banking hours and services starting today
  • Banks promise some relief as anxiety/job loss grows over COVID-19
  • The Caribbean Association of Banks will continue to serve its members
  • Personal income tax filing deadline extended
  • Sagicor donates US$1 million to fight the spread of COVID-19  
  • Sagicor provides funds for the purchase of thermal infra-red thermometers
  • SurePay commits to continued convenience and safety during COVID-19
  • Peter and Co. Distribution ensures shelves are well stocked during COVID-19 crisis
  • Massy Stores (SLU) sets purchase limits to address Panic Buying
  • Massy increases store hygiene protocol; on guard against price gouging
  • CIBC FirstCaribbean offers financial assistance to clients affected by COVID-19
  • Bay Gardens Resorts cushions staff from Covid-19-induced hotel closures
  • Postponement of 2020 National Population and Housing Census
  • Airports Fitted with New Wind Measuring Systems for Safer Operations
  • Temporary suspension of services – Transport Division
  • LUCELEC contributes to development of new Pigeon Island hiking trail

Stay safe, respect the COVID-19 protocols and encourage others to do the same. — 
Bernard Fanis