How can you help the local economy?
By Nick Halverson, Osa Property Management
Costa Rica is mainly dependent on tourism for its economy, and the drastic restrictions have impacted especially brutal on nationals. The country currently has the highest unemployment rate ever recorded at 25%. That is the published rate, and with most unemployment numbers, I would suggest it is higher. When including the real rate plus adding in the under-employed rate, it is probably closer to 35%-40% nationally, and higher in the immediate region.
Indeed, most of the Costa Ballena region is dependent on tourism.
Given that as the background, we hear from our homeowners, clients, and the social media channels: What can we do to help with the local economy?
On the one hand, it has been great to see the incredible outpouring of people looking to support and to help everyone, as we are all in this together. On the other hand, Costa Rica is slowly reopening its borders, but fresh tourists trickle won’t make an economic dent in the recovery. It will be months (hopefully not years) before a new financial and physical healthy normal returns.
Here are recommendations to help:
1. Hire Local:
Try and hire as local as possible. If there is someone in your immediate community or neighborhood, consider hiring that person or purchasing from them. The Costa Ballena region has plenty of service providers that live throughout the area.
2. Hire Legal:
There are plenty of businesses operating in the region that have all permits in place and are paying insurance for their workers and taxes to
Hacienda. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few that aren’t operating legally (especially true in the real estate and property management arena).
If you are unsure, ask to see copies of the Hacienda and the Municapolity permits. By law, they must be hung on the wall of the office. If a service provider company doesn’t have an office, they will likely operate illegally in Costa Rica.
3. Be generous
Please consider hiring an extra home cleaning or an additional landscaping service for the month if your budget allows. Order take-out from a restaurant once or twice a week. If you are friends with people in need, invite them over for a BBQ or a meal. Buy some extra groceries (bags of rice, beans, vegetables, meat, etc.) for your neighbor in need.
Sometimes there are opportunities to work, but transportation is a significant obstacle in the Costa Ballena region, especially now with the limited bus schedules. Offer to provide transportation to someone who may need it (while at the same time respecting the driving restrictions).
4. Be smart
If you would like a list of recommended non-profits, government programs, or other places to donate to, please contact us. We can send you the contact information. If you would like to add your non-profit to the list, please send us a note. The local government has been delivering meals to those who can’t travel, and they are always looking for additional resources.
All of us at Osa Property Management are working together, helping the community, and supporting the Costa Ballena region.
Contact: [email protected]