Businesses on the brink of closing because of VAT, chamber says

Despite the government insisting businesses would be afforded the opportunity to adjust to the recent 4.5 per cent increase in value-added tax (VAT), Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Confederation (BCCEC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Edison Sumner said this is not the case, and claimed the government has “gotten it wrong”.

Sumner said, as a result of the amendments, some of his members are now on the brink of closing up shop.

“Some of the large companies are saying that its really taking its toll on their business operations but a few months in and we are still monitoring the impact its had on the business community,” Sumner said.

“We said the timing of the increase was not the best timing, we made that position very clear to the government. We are still getting feedback, constantly talking to management.”

Sumner noted business owners have had challenges making adjustments to price changes and setting up systems to reflect the jump in VAT from 7.5 to 12 per cent.