The novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the closure of 420 businesses in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, sending 2,754 persons on the breadline between March and December 2020.

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, on Wednesday, attributed the data to the National Insurance Services while responding, in Parliament, to a question from Member of Parliament for East Kingstown, Dwight Fitzgerald Bramble.

Gonsalves said that the 2,754 employees came from various sectors of the economy.

He said that the government has implemented several income support measures to cushion the fall off in employment income experienced by these individuals.

“There are other employees who have not been laid off but put on reduced time schedules, particularly in the hospitality sector — reduced hours and the like, they are also receiving compensation through various income support measures,” Gonsalves said.

“But, in terms of the subset that the honourable member asked for, it’s 420 businesses.  But more businesses than that have been affected in terms of limited hours and limited staff and the like, but the question was about closure,” the finance minister told Parliament. 

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