Moratorium on licenses for new supermarkets

POSTED: 07/12/15 10:33 PM

St. Maarten – The Ministry of Economic Affairs has issued a moratorium on business licenses for supermarkets.

“Adding new licenses for supermarket could entail consequences that harm existing supermarket and their investments,” according to the policy the ministry published ion its website. More licenses could result in inadequate quality and service that will not benefit the economy,” the document states.

Supermarkets established in hotels with at least 200 rooms, the airport and the harbor are eligible for replacement licenses. New licenses may be granted to replace existing ones at the same location.

The old license must be cancelled before the new one is issued. New licenses granted for supermarkets at hotels, the airport and the harbor are restricted to operation at those locations, the policy states. “No branch license or change of location will be granted.”

Holders of both operational and business licenses elsewhere may change locations.

Expanding existing supermarkets is also allowed under the new policy, for instance with a permit to sell alcohol. The policy went into effect last week Friday.

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