Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Crime hurting business output

Published:Friday | February 10, 2017 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I am sure we all agree that the current crime situation in Jamaica is untenable. It affects all areas of our lives. The social impact is widely covered by the media, and rightly so. However, there is another side that has to do with the high cost of doing business in this environment.

Companies are forced to put in place expensive security measures that are hardly a deterrent, as the criminals have become emboldened. Workers are now reluctant to work after dark, as there are many challenges, and do not want to expose themselves to the criminal elements. As a result, companies are not able to utilise existing machinery to its full potential, causing production to be limited. We have a situation where we are not able to fill our export orders despite having all the necessary raw material on hand. This is not good for business

Based on the fact that we are not able to work extended hours, my company is now forced to spend additional resources - which we do not have - to purchase additional equipment to increase our production capacity in the daylight hours. This is an unnecessary expense, but one that is required if we intend to remain in business. This is the reality of doing business in Jamaica today.

Exports will not grow in this environment as output is largely dependent on what one can produce in the daylight hours. Fixing the crime situation would result in an automatic increase in employment and export growth.

ANDREW GRAY

Gray's Pepper

grays.pepper@cwjamaica.com