Dept. of STAT commences with Economic Census Survey. Business community cooperation essential



GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Department of Statistics (STAT) from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunications, has embarked upon an Economic Census Survey (ECS).

The ECS is an internationally used exercise to collect and report on the number of business establishments according to their size, economic activity/industry, and location.

STAT will also be able to identify and report on the number of micro, small, medium and large entities operating on St. Maarten.

Acting Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Cornelius de Weever implores the business community to assists the Department of STAT by participating in the survey, because accurate and up-to-date data is needed for policy planning purposes of the post-Hurricane Irma economy.

Minister De Weever during a briefing on Wednesday, thanked the business community in advance for their cooperation as well as the different entities involved in the survey.

11 interviewers hit the pavement on Thursday and will cover business operations in eight zones namely, Low Lands, Simpson Bay, Cole Bay, Little Bay, Cul de Sac, Philipsburg, Upper Princess Quarter and Lower Princess Quarter.

Head of the Department of STAT Makini Persaud-Hickinson

during the briefing on Wednesday said the ECS would give a full account of all economic units partaking in the economy, and about the types of economic activity taking place on the Dutch side post-Irma.

Persaud-Hickinson added that STAT did conduct a pilot survey back in February when 350 businesses were contacted.  200 businesses were interviewed and the cooperation at that time was positive.

Persaud-Hickinson pointed out that it was critical to have benchmark statistics with respect to how many businesses are operational, closed, and/or how many new businesses have opened.  The survey also breaks down the size and industry of the current business community.

Department of STAT Project Leader Jason Grant said the survey comprises of 32 questions seeking basic information from business owners such as name, address, legal form of the business, number of employees, post-hurricane status/insurance, and if it’s a hotel, the number of rooms/beds.

Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) Executive Director Anastacio Baker during the briefing appealed to the business community to take part in the 30-minute survey, as the information collected will contribute to proper planning in order to move the country forward.

The information would also be very relevant for the COCI database and the Chamber prefers a joint approach rather than having individual entities going out and collecting information from its membership.

The ECS will be carried out over a 10-week period. This survey is a main data source for: 1) Creating a comprehensive Statistical Business Register system; 2)   Calculating more accurately the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); 3) Obtaining data on the number and distribution of economic establishments by industrial category, region and number of employees.