The survey was completed between April 6—15th 2020. Approximately 30% of the Chamber membership responded. 52% of respondents indicated that they were still operational amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those not operational 40% reported that it was due to the virus, while the balance (60%) indicated that they were not operational due to the shutdown.
33% of respondents employ more than 50 employees, and overall 60% employee more than 20 persons. 67% of all respondents indicate that they have maintained full employment at this time. 65% indicate that full employment can only be maintained for 1-2 months.
Of the firms who have retained employees 67% of them indicated that the employees receive full pay. Respondents indicate that while full pay was paid in March, this will not be the case for April for many persons.
Of the respondent (33%) who did not maintain full employment 36% reported retaining between 1-25% of employees. 21% indicated that 26-50% was retained, while 36% reported retaining between 51-75% and the balanced (7%) reported retaining over 75%.
53% of respondents who indicated that they had not retained all staff, reported that the staff who were not retained are getting paid or receiving in kind contributions. (groceries and receiving 50% of pay).
38% of respondents report that they anticipate an over 75% decline in business as a result of this pandemic. 31% anticipate losses of between 26-50%, 19% expected declines of between 1- 25% while 13% anticipate declines of between 51-75%.
Understanding the major impact Tourism has on the economy and on most business in Saint Lucia either directly or indirectly Members were asked about the impact they expect the decline of tourism to have on the businesses (described as zero tourism climate).
In a zero tourism climate 39% of respondents believe that their business can only survive 3-4 months. 23% indicate that their business could last over 6 months, 19% indicated they can last 5-6 months and 16% stated that they can last 1-2 months.