Dept. of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Richard Evangelista. By VI CONSORTIUM/VIA FACEBOOK
Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Richard Evangelista said Wednesday that the decision by his department to offer an amnesty in 2021 to business operators and owners who were not licensed has surpassed expectations.
"In fiscal year 2021 there were actually 1020 new business license issued and within those business licenses issued there were 1519 categories issued. As far as renewals, we renewal 7446 business licenses and we renewed categories totaling 13,453,” the commissioner disclosed during Thursday's episode of the Bryan administration's “Inside the Cabinet.”
“This is far greater and supersedes what we did the prior fiscal year. This means that persons took advantage of the amnesty that we provided to you the business owners who failed to renew your licenses in a timely fashion,” he said while urging those businesses that are not yet licensed to comply before December 31st.
“The pandemic is here, it's not going anywhere and we at DLCA understands and understood that you have faced both the hurricanes and the pandemic. However, since the pandemic is not going anywhere, I urge all businesses, large and small, if you have not yet renewed your business license to please do so before December 31st 2021,” Mr. Evangelista said.
Pointing out that the department has vehemently worked on getting all businesses to update their licenses, the commissioner said there comes a time when the department must move forward despite challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So, I am urging you to renew your business license. For those businesses who are currently engaged in a business in commerce making money, I urge you to please come into our offices,” he said while advising that applying online at www.dlca.vi.gov is the best option because it creates a level of safety for all involved.
Explaining the benefits of obtaining a business license, the commissioner said a license protects owners “so that you will not be charged for engaging in an unlicensed business.”
Another benefit of is that it protects customers especially if the business is one that is engaged in the selling of food or beverage. “The Department of Health will ensure that you have a health permit if in fact you are qualified to do so and they will also inspect the facilities that you prepare your product that people digest. So please, if you know of a friend or even an enemy who is engage in preparing food or beverage please encourage them to register for a business license,” Mr. Evangelista said while expounding on the wide benefits of obtaining a business license.
“It also helps all of us…by a business engaging in a licensed activity that person then pays taxes, taxes in turn are contributed to the general fund which in turn helps us pave roads, have streetlights and just create a better life for all,” he said.