News Report: BCCEC: 90 percent of businesses in revenue slump

Written by Paige McCartney, The Nassau Guardian May 26th, 2021

A recent survey of businesses on New Providence, conducted by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), shows that revenue remains down for 90 percent of them and in nearly half of those cases, revenue was down by 60 percent or more.

BCCEC Chairperson Khrystle Rutherford-Ferguson also revealed that of those businesses that participated in the survey, only 30 percent of their furloughed staff have been called back to work. She said it’s the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused businesses to experience a plethora of challenges.

“These statistics are not unique to The Bahamas, although our circumstances have been challenged since Hurricane Dorian. Globally, 73 percent of respondents, based on a study conducted by PwC across 73 countries, have indicated that they have been negatively impacted by the crisis across different aspects of their organization.

“Despite the bleak, current state of the business environment, 78 percent of the respondents surveyed by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce are able to see beyond the temporary gloom and have indicated that they feel optimistic about our country’s economic rebound. The key in the coming months will be to keep this positive attitude and convert optimism to reality and crisis to opportunity. As the Chamber, we will continue to host webinars which highlight opportunities and inform our members and by extension the broader business community on ways they may be able to recover, sustain and even grow their businesses in the future.”

Rutherford-Ferguson’s comments came as she opened an online seminar entitled “New Era, New Opportunities, Promoting China-Bahamas Co-operation for Mutual Benefit”, which was a collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas and the BCCEC.

“It is noteworthy that this year marks the 24th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between The Bahamas and China. Further, there is strong evidence of robust trade between our countries. According to the International Trade Center, 2020 imports from China to The Bahamas are reported at a total of $279 million and exports from The Bahamas to China total $73 million, notwithstanding the overall decline in trade,” said the chamber chair.

“There was a meeting between the Chinese Embassy and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce to discuss areas that we might look to expand the opportunities for businesses in our countries. This webinar is as a result of those conversations and I am certain that we will continue to find ways to have mutual dialogue that may spur economic opportunities.”

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