BCCI says MSME Hold Their Own Amidst Raise in Prices
Another negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was the surge in unemployment due to businesses cutting down on expenses. This prompted people to start their own businesses as a way to meet their monthly bills. At the recent Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marketplace Expo, a plethora of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises were highlighted. However, the high price of goods and services has caused several larger businesses to shut down. So, does that mean that smaller businesses with less capital will see the same fate? We asked the BCCI’s Vice President of Services, Katherine Meighan, this today and this is what she said.
Katherine Meighan, Services Vice President, BCCI: “We have found that our micro small and medium sized businesses are extremely resilient so I think this inflationary wave, this increase in costs of doing business so to say is something we are seeing now but what we expect into 2023, 2024 is that there will be a cycle. So what we are seeing is in essence a global growth because Belize is so interconnected in terms of the global concept especially because our high number of imported commodities for instance that play a significant role in the cost of doing business here in Belize. We know that there is that connection with the global growth component. In the forecast for 2021, last year, is that global growth would have slowed down by 6.2%. For 2022 we were looking at 3.2% and then in 2023 we are looking at 2.7%. So in that you are seeing that the growth decline is increasing at the same time so we believe as things kind of as we are at that stage where we are starting to see things start come back to normal much slower than we wanted to out of that COVID pandemic the effects of the Ukraine war as well on gas and oil prices which is a significant component of many different business angles so to say including gas prices for us here we are starting to see that trend go back in the right direction if you wanna say it that way but it’s going to take a little bit of time. Now coming back to your specific question that connects to MSME’s small and medium sized businesses as I said the COVID pandemic really showed the resilience of small and medium sized businesses and even bigger businesses of course in Belize.”