In the meantime, the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) says the slide in the value of the Jamaican dollar against the U.S. currency, could result in significant fallout for that sector. Already there are fears that some small businesses will be forced to close their doors.
President of the SBAJ, Hugh Johnson, said the movement in the exchange rate is of particular concern because some members are operating on a thin margin.
He recalled that during the first half of 2017 when the Jamaican dollar was going through another period of devaluation some small businesses were very close to collapsing, “but because over the last eight months, the dollar was somewhat stabilised.”
Now, with this new round of devaluations, he said that fear has returned.
“We would admonish the Central Bank Governor to ensure that its programme is so designed not to cause these rapid and drastic movements; either way it goes, it affects your operations significantly because of how fragile… or operations are in terms of margins,” he said.
Mr Johnson noted that that small businesses will have to increase the prices of their goods and services to remain viable and added that not many small businesses export so they will not benefit from the depreciation of the Jamaican dollar.
He said used car dealers have been particularly hard hit by the currency slide, “because they would have signed off a particular price point with a customer, and the sudden movement has eroded all of that.”
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