Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Kevin Fandl


Consistent public consultation in the making of policies and regulations is a problem in the Virgin Islands, affecting small businesses across the territory. Small business owners and the public have challenged the government to be more accountable and transparent in drafting and implementing legislation and regulations. The stakeholders are mainly concerned with those pieces of legislation and regulations that have a behavioral, social, or economic impact on their business, and, in turn, society. There is a lack of research on how the presence or absence of public input in the rulemaking process of business regulations impacts the economic growth and development of small businesses. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the direct and indirect impact of business regulations on the economic growth and development of small businesses in the Virgin Islands, particularly inns and villas. The research question concerned whether public consultation into proposed business regulations impacts business growth in the Virgin Islands. Small business owners with establishments on Tortola were interviewed between May and June 2019. The data analysis strategy incorporated a case study that explored the experiences of participants who were owners of small villas. The information was assessed through institutional theory and good governance concepts of transparency and accountability. The findings may be used by public officials and public officers to create business regulations that bolster a healthy and hospitable small business sector in the Virgin Islands.