Chamber State of Business results summary
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the results from the annual State of Business Survey are back. Every year the survey is sent out to Chamber members with the purpose of finding out member views on issues impacting their own business, the economy, the community and the environment. The results enable the Chamber Council to determine advocacy priorities.
The survey contains a varied series open-ended questions designed to bring out a wide spectrum of ideas, concerns and perspectives. In many of the questions, respondents are invited to list up to three answers, ranking them in order of importance.
Results showed that the cost of living, alongside the cost of doing business stood out as top areas of concern across-the-board. There were also calls to increase the speed and efficiency of interacting with Government agencies, especially in vital areas of business operation such as recruitment. Traffic congestion and the reduction of crime were also highlighted.
In answer to question 9, “What three business issues should the Chamber advocate in 2023?” members’ chief concerns, amounting to 33% centred on increased costs including rent, utilities, insurance payments and other necessities. 11% of respondents called for a ‘Reduction in red tape,’ which included more streamlined processes for vital aspects of business operation, especially in areas such as work permit application times as particular priorities.
In Question 10, “What three community issues should the council address in 2023?” the cost of living and crime each accounted for around 16% of total answers. Cost of living concerns included ‘Lack of affordable housing’ among more general calls to address inflation. Traffic congestion and the need for a better public transport public transport accounted for a further 12% of responses.
In Question 11, “Which three Government policy changes should the Chamber Council advocate for in 2023?” 12 % answered work permit along with WORC processing times were their main concerns, while 8% called for pension reforms. Traffic and transportation were named too and ranged between calling on restrictions on the number of vehicles being imported, to the creation of a ‘local transportation policy.’
In response to Question 12, “If the Chamber were to achieve only one success in 2023, what would be most helpful to your business?” cost of living and doing business again came top, accounting for around 20% of the total number of answers. This was broken down under headings including the high cost of rent, utilities, and costs and coverage of health insurance payments. Under this section, too, there was again consistent call for streamlining transactions with government entities to enable faster processing of work permits and other matters relating to recruitment, such as WORC processing times, along with reducing government fees, especially for small businesses.
Other recurring themes appearing throughout the survey included special considerations aimed at protecting, small-and-micro businesses, education, and training of Caymanians. There were also calls for more recycling, single-use plastics and programmes which protect the environment. Community cohesion, especially in relation to breaking down the division between Caymanians and expats was also mentioned. Reducing violent crime, such as armed robberies, was consistently mentioned, but other kinds of crime such as financial crime were also named in the survey.