BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 23, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Business activity on the two Discounted VAT Rate Days in St. Kitts and Nevis on Friday, December 18 and Saturday, December 19, has so far exceeded the expectations of the business community.
On both days, hundreds of shoppers flocked to the various VAT registered businesses across the Federation to take advantage of the 5 percent value-added tax on the sale of goods. All tangible items that are subject to 17 percent VAT qualified for the discounted VAT Rate.
One such entity that saw an influx of shoppers on December 18 and 19 was the TDC Group of Companies, one of the largest business establishments in the Federation. The company’s Chairman, Mr. Earl Kelly, stated that their expectations were exceeded, particularly in light of the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic that left hundreds of persons unemployed.
According to Mr. Kelly, the company sold some 30 vehicles on St. Kitts and 12 on Nevis – figures that were also greater than what was expected. This, according to Mr. Kelly, was surprising given the fact that there was a cutback in the company’s importation of vehicles due to the lack of availability of vehicles because suppliers were closed as a result of the pandemic.
Similarly, Executive Director at S.L. Horsford and Company Limited, Ms. Natalie Kelsick, said they are quite pleased with the business activity generated on both VAT Days this year. She said, “VAT Days 2020, all things considered, went very well for us and it was clear on the days that our customers really looked forward to the discounts at all of our stores. It made a big difference.”
St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce also took notice of the increased economic activity on both days. It’s Executive Director, Mr. Andrew Satney said based on his observation, the Discounted VAT Rate Days achieved the objective of generating commercial activity considering the fact that the economy has slowed down a little because of the COVID-19 situation.
“In my discussion with some of the merchants and store operators in the Federation they saw much more activity than they probably would have seen, particularly those companies that sell the high priced items like motor vehicles, furniture and electronics, and so I think personally that it was a success based on my preliminary observation and discussions,” Mr. Satney said.
He further commended the Government on its decision to allow for two VAT Days instead of one as it ensured that there was better implementation of COVID-19 protocols such as physical distancing and proper hand hygiene.
“I know the companies made every effort to manage the numbers coming in during the two days, so I think it achieved its objective,” Mr. Satney added.
Though the Discounted VAT Rate Days are now over, citizens and residents are still benefiting from the approved duty concessions on food, gift packages, and passenger allowances throughout the entire month of December.