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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 10:34


ORANJESTAD — The interest to start a business increases. Over 300 corporations were registered in 2012 compared to almost 200 in 2011. Henceforth, the application for a permit can be made via internet to expedite the process. Furthermore, the tariff has been reduced and the application must be processed quicker.Minister of Economic Affairs, Michelle Winklaar (AVP), and Maria Dijkhoff-Pita from the Directorate Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry (Dezhi) announced the positive economic growth this morning during a press conference. That the interest to establish a NV or VBA increases is partly due to having organized the Small Business Week (last year) and the arrival of Idea, the business center from Economic Affairs where new entrepreneurs can go for advice and assistance, said Winklaar.


“De Small Business Week was a success, especially the turnout for the workshops on Friday”, Winklaar explained. “Many companies are too small to keep an administration up to date or wish to export but don’t know how.” A survey of over 150 respondents was also held during the Small Business Week.  A large part of this group had just started a business or had plans to do so within six months. “This proves that many people don’t only dream of an own business but actually take steps to present a good business plan.”

The reactions from the visitors of the Small Business Week are confirmed by figures from Dezhi. The latter received approx. 100 business calls last year of which a third had been an intake and the other conversations regarded specific subjects. “Questions were asked about the structure of a company, the number of people to employ, how to tackle the marketing and of course, the financing”, said Pita. It mainly regarded entrepreneurs who wanted to start a business in the catering industry, service, retail trade, and agriculture and health sector.


Tariff permit

The Minister of Economic Affairs wants to stimulate the economic activity on Aruba. Consequently, several changes were made at Dezhi this year. For instance, no leeway is allowed in processing applications for a permit. This year’s aim is to process an application for a permit within four weeks. It’s already possible to submit permits online although Dezhi wants to evaluate this online process at the end of this year. As many documents as possible are being standardized for this online process, and the collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce must improve this year. Henceforth, the latter will give its advice on a permit digitally to save time. Finally, the applications for a business permit will become cheaper, the amount was 2000 florins and is now 400 florins. This is to lower the threshold for new entrepreneurs.