VI Businesses Weigh Reopening Under New Executive Order

As we’ve been reporting, come Monday, non-essential businesses in the territory can reopen.

It’s part of the government’s plan to safely start re-opening the VI economy in phases.

But while companies can reopen, many are weighing whether or not they will.

At the Havensite Mall on Thursday afternoon, doors at dozens of businesses remained closed with deadbolts in the locks.

On Monday, that can change.

Under the new executive order, seating at restaurants is still not permitted, but places like gyms, hair and nail salons can open for business, with some restrictions.

However, many business owners in the Havensite Mall who USVI News spoke with, say they will remain closed, because they rely mostly on tourists.

Ebarna and Minoj Bed have owned Caribbean Gems and Shopper’s Haven at the Havensite Mall for 21 years, “We are allowed to open our doors come Monday, but we are planning not to because we cater to the cruise ship business and the tourists, so until the time they are here, we are not going to open,” said Erbarna. “It’s impacted us in a very critical way because, of course health is priority, but we don’t see a coming end close by until October or September maybe… So with no income coming in, you still have your rent due, you’re utilities are due… you don’t know when you’re going to be able to hire everybody back, you know it’s all scary,” Ebarna contiued.

According to Governor Albert Bryan Jr.’s new executive order, the “Safer At Home” order, becomes effective on Monday, May 4 at 6:00 a.m.

As of now, the U.S. territory will move to the blue “Open Door” phase on June 1st, when hotel bookings are permitted and restaurants can reopen for seating. That date is subject to change, depending on what develops with the Coronavirus Panedemic.