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Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 04, 2020 (SKNIS): President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC), Giselle Matthews, provided guidelines to restructure workplaces and workforces as businesses continue to function on limited operation days due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Consider adjusting your workforce in the form of staggered hours, a shift system or working from home to limit your physical contact; reduce your opening hours to accommodate the decline in economic activity, and enforce social and physical distancing guidelines in a work setting as stated in Regulations 7 under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations,” said Mrs. Matthews.

In addition to getting tips on how to reduce unnecessary operational costs, it was also explained how to evaluate current business expenses and examine ways to reduce them, determining which expenses are not really necessary for the day-to-day operation, and temporarily suspending, or terminating, them. Solutions such as payroll solutions, various expense management systems such as Management staff card payments, and integration of the same with accounts or payroll could help streamline expenses and perhaps help curb these costs amid such challenging times.

“Reduce your usage of utilities like electricity and water to save on cost. Engage employees in other tasks that are usually outsourced so if you have a staff member or employee who you feel is good at multitasking, willing and able, train them in some other areas… to tap into those resources that you have,” said the CIC President, while encouraging businesses to properly manage their expenses. “Evaluate your fixed expenses, consider which expenses can be reduced without affecting the quality of your business and access efficiency and productivity levels. Consider where and how to ‘trim the fat’ – ensure you have a well-thought-through business plan and if you don’t know how to prepare one obtain advice from credible sources,” she added.

She said the tips would greatly assist businesses on how to function in this new environment.

As limited operation days resume on Tuesday, May 05, the CIC President has implored businesses to follow the necessary guidelines and protocols currently in place to protect everyone from the spread of the virus.

“As a Chamber, we expect our members to comply. We know many of them have been but we want you to do even better for those who are non-members and members of the Chamber. Tomorrow we need you to enforce even further these protocols and guidelines before we open businesses,” said the CIC President. “This is very important because we have to work with the authorities. I want to say to businesses who have not yet complied that this is not an expensive venture for you to get into enforcing the protocols and guidelines enforced by the Regulations. So, we are imploring on you to – please, if you are not ready tomorrow morning, remain closed until you are ready.

From May 05-08, business are allowed to operate as long as they comply with the safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act to be able to function on limited operation days. Businesses wishing to operate must adhere to the 6-feet distancing on the inside, place distance markers at checkpoints, as well as on the outside. Face masks must be worn and proper sanitization of doorknobs and hands upon entry into the business place must be practised.

A curfew remains in effect nightly from 7 pm until 6 am on the following day on limited operation days.

7 pm until 6 am on the following day on limited operation days.

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