The St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association (SLISBA) is calling for the implementation of mandatory vaccination, adding that several businesses are crumbling under the weight of the pandemic and are forced to deal with increasing economic fragility.
The Association, Thursday, further noted that temporary closures, curfews and employee absences due to COVID-19 “are taking a drastic toll on small businesses and will eventually lead to more business closures.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in supply chain challenges, employee health concerns and increasing absenteeism due to the pandemic, as well as reductions in demand for services. Service sectors such as small shops, entertainment, barbershops, salons, restaurants and bars are among the hardest hit,” the Association said in a statement.
SLISBA added that some businesses are barely hanging on and have started rotating staff, however, the Association noted that the increasing length of the crisis threatens to result in more massive closures.
“We therefore support the call for more mandatory vaccinations, which are already becoming the norm in many areas of life such as travel. We also call on government to support more sweeping mandatory requirements across all sectors, as a means of simply keeping afloat in these perilous times for small and micro businesses,” SLISBA said.
Many small business owners are in support of the move SLISBA revealed, and are keen to implement mandatory vaccine requirements for staff and clientele wherever possible.
“The St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association is therefore calling for more support to implement vaccine mandates, encourage and provide on-sight vaccinations where possible and education of employees in many sectors. The Association firmly believes that higher vaccination rates are crucial at this time and will determine the extent to which many already struggling small businesses will be able to weather this crisis,” the Association stated.
According to SLISBA, it is truly a matter of life and death for individuals who rely on their businesses to sustain themselves and their families.