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When times are tough and the money is flowing, there is invariably an increase in people not getting paid. This is especially true in the construction industry here as fly by night contractors and sometimes even more established ones sometimes pass on their bad cash flow problems to their employees.

Phrases like “we didn’t get paid by the owner, so we can’t pay you,” or “here’s half your pay we’ll make it up next week” are getting to be heard more often as time goes on and the St. John economy continues to slow down.

It’s all too common here on St. John. I don’t know the specifics of this incident, but it appears that someone thinks that someone owes them money and has utilized a unique method of getting paid. Its not been all that effective though, as I’ve been noticing the sign for quite some time now periodically being displayed to passersby and other times mssing, apparently the work of the homeowner who takes it down only to have it placed up again.

Meanwhile the unofficial January St. John US Virgin Islands financial stats are in. According to my excellent sources, small business owners,  villa managers, restaurateurs, hotel managers, gym members, friends, acquaintances, bar flies, gossipers and hitch hikers, the money scene on the island is down between 20 and 40 percent across the board. My book sales for January, probably a good overall indicator falls within that range at 33% less gross sales than January of last year.

The advice from those in the know is, tighten the belt, sit on the deck sip a cocktail and don’t spend any money until things get better or at least as little as possible. And I’ll add to that, slow down, stay cool, enjoy St. John for what it really has to offer, like going to the beach, snorkeling, hiking and socializing with that extended family that is found here in Love City, St. John US Virgin Islands. Remember, its only money.

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