NOT AT EASE

Cost of doing business at the Coast soars as business shut down

Instead, the port authority has increased the handling and wharfage charge making it even costlier to conduct business.

In Summary
  • This as the Kenya Ports Authority amended their tariff by removing the Verification Charge of $75 and $100 on 20Ft and 40Ft containers respectively
  • The Documents show the Sh100,000 hike was placed on the financial services charge.
Aerial view of Mombasa County, the city has attracted not only politicians by investors since it’s a tourists haven with lots of opportunities .photo Elkana Jacob
Aerial view of Mombasa County, the city has attracted not only politicians by investors since it’s a tourists haven with lots of opportunities .photo Elkana Jacob

More businesses are closing down shop at the Coast over the increased cost of doing business in the region.

According to Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry coast chief executive James Kitavi at least 1,200 businesses have shut down as at last year December.

This has in turn resulted in massive job losses in the coastal area. 

 
 

"This will in turn raise insecurity levels in the region and we are now anticipating the return of hawkers on the streets of Mombasa as a result of the raise of the single business permit," he said.

A single business permit cost about 100,000 more at the beginning of the year compared to January last year.

 Documents obtained by the Star show, a single business paid Sh315,000 to the county government of Mombasa in January compared to Sh215,000 last year. 

Among these charges include a convenience fee of Sh50, renewal form fee (Sh200), outdoor advertising (Sh4,750), fire fees (Sh10,000) and a 625 large financial services charge of Sh300,000. 

The Documents show the Sh100,000 hike was placed on the financial services charge. 

Businesses that rely heavily on imports have also had to grapple with the increased cost of shipping in goods. 

This as the Kenya Ports Authority amended their tariff by removing the Verification Charge of $75 and $100 on 20Ft and 40Ft containers respectively.

 
 

 Instead, the port authority has increased the handling and wharfage charge making it even costlier to conduct business. 

Handling charges rose to $105 and $160 for the 20 and 40 Ft container, from $93 and $140 respectively. On the other hand, wharfage charges increased from $60 and $90 for the 20 and 40Ft containers to $70 and $105 respectively. 

"Many business owners are finding it almost impossible to conduct business around here,? Kitavi said.

To add salt to injury, on February 7, the county government of Mombasa substantially increased the value of parcels of land in the county for the purpose of the annual rates, effective January 1. 

While the new valuation roll for commercial/industrial properties was set at -0.8 per cent and residential/agricultural properties at -0.6 per cent, it has resulted in a substantial increase in the amounts payable by way of rates. In some cases by more than 400 per cent.