Philipsburg:--- Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt announced on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers' press briefing that St. Maarten's economy is lagging and there is need to boost the economy on St. Maarten. The Finance Minister said that the current trend is not a good sign and as such he has been meeting with various banks on the island to further discuss the economy. "We are on a downturn and not a recession as yet therefore we need to boost the economy because a lot of stores on St. Maarten are closing down." Minister Tuitt said that government is currently looking into structural ways to boost businesses as well as possible economic activities that will revive the economy.
Tuitt said for years St. Maarten relied on construction businesses which are one aspect of the economy but government has to also add other arms to further boost and revive the economy on St. Maarten.
The Finance Minister said that one of the programs government is working on is to have the necessary facilities in place for new investors, especially for young people. The Minister explained that while government is dealing with the financing institutions to provide the financing for the new entrepreneurs, government is also looking into having a coaching program for these new business people. "It is government's intention to have retired business people coach the new businesses so they can become successful." Tuitt said that each person that is granted financing to open a new business will have a coach alongside them to provide guidance. Tuitt explained that one of the main reasons the new businesses are failing is because in most cases they do not have the experience and discipline that is required to survive the first years as a new business. Tuitt said government is of the opinion that if the coaching program is in place then young entrepreneurs will be more successful.