PHILIPSBURG – The Soualiga Employers Association (SEA) calls on the Government of Sint Maarten to show more leniency towards the business community and primarily so to our local Small Medium Enterprise (SME) category of businesses. That leniency that should include tax holiday/exemption for local businesses for defining a period, couple with improved facilitation as it relates to immigration and labor processes for the business sector would serve as a stimulant towards increased economic activity.
Current guidelines and requirements for businesses to obtain tax holidays do not cater to the SME sector and in particular our local businesses. Some of these requirements include incorporation requiring an investment minimum of Naf 250,000; must cater to cater to the hospitality sector or promote a visit to St. Maarten by foreign nationals with an investment minimum of Naf 1,000,000.
SEA appeals to the authority, in particular the Ministry of Finance, to amend these stipulations so that our wide-ranging businesses which comprise 85 percent of the total business sector can also have a fair chance of applying for some sort of relief as it relates to tax exemption.
In SEA’s opinion, an exemption for a minimum of six months would go a very long way for our SME sector, both new and existing.