More ‘Brick and mortar’ SMEs to consider going digital

More ‘Brick and mortar’ SMEs to consider going digital
Kendrick Christie

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Many businesses, particularly small and medium sized companies may look to move from their ‘brick and mortar’ operations and take their services online if the government imposed lockdown continues beyond another month, a local accountant said yesterday.

Kendrick Christie, a local chartered accountant and certified fraud examiner told Eyewitness News yesterday the online model is particularly attractive to businesses looking to eliminate rental cost.

“I would say that many entities are looking at switching to an online model,” Christie said.
“I would say that if this lockdown goes beyond another month, we will see many businesses close their brick and mortar operations, particularly small and medium sized businesses looking to eliminate that rental cost.”

He said: “In the commercial arena you have some landlords that are understanding and some that are not. Some of them are still expecting to be paid their rent and that creates a difficulty for entities that are either shut down or can’t generate much revenue. A lot of my clients in the retail space are looking at that option.”

Christie, principal of Kendrick Christie & Co said that time will tell whether the push to online services is merely a COVID-19 related trend.

“There will be some fall-out,” he said.

“I know that some businesses that don’t have a large number of employees may switch to a complete online presence but to quantify that right now is difficult.”

Christie who addressed the Rotary Club of West Nassau yesterday also noted that that there are risks associated with e-commerce, as the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to incident of hacking and fraud.

“The risk is always there,” Christie added.

“When you go online there is still risk. Cyber-crime has gone up significantly. Still, I think we can overcome that with the right measures.”