Entrepreneurs on Social Media: Booming Business or Unfair Competition?
Recent years have seen an increase in entrepreneurs using social media and other online platforms to market and sell their goods, either on a retail or wholesale level. For some business has been booming, but in some ways it has been taking away from the businesses that have overhead expenses such as rent and salaries. Additionally, while the businesses that do have a physical location are subject to paying taxes, those who use groups like Buy and Sell in Belize are not making any tax contributions. While the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it supports entrepreneurship, there has to be a balance and a level playing field for businesses. Love News spoke with the President of the BCCI, Marcelo Blake who explained the chamber’s perspective.
Marcelo Blake, President, BCCI: “There is a cost to the brick and mortar type businesses that need to continue to operate and while online continues to develop there also needs to be a look at the mechanisms that will help to regulate those businesses as well, because there is in fact revenue being generated, of course, and to some extent revenues also being lost to the government in respect to what those businesses are in fact operating at, you know, because of the lower overhead costs they may have better margins to continue to operate. But of course at the same time you have to be careful of how you look at the paradigm there because you need your micro and small businesses to be able to develop to a level where they are then in a position to start helping to employ more people and grow their business. So it’s one of those balances where yes there is the competition from the online business but at the same time there has to be a certain level of fostering them so that they can grow to a level where they now start to employ persons and start contributing more to the overall economy. Again, the ratios aren’t generally in favor for micro and small businesses because quite a large number of them fail. But the point is that as long as you’re putting in the right systems to help incubate and move them then the view is that they will eventually start to contribute more, you know, earning more revenues, hiring more persons and paying them their fair share of taxes.”