As the holiday hype to buy, buy, buy escalates and income tax refunds being paid for out of the government's recent $300 million bond issue are arriving in the mail for some residents, the territory is experiencing some much-needed commerce.
Valentino McBean, vice president and regional manager for Banco Popular, said he has witnessed large crowds in his bank in the last week. Are they cashing their refund checks to go shopping?
"It's a little early to establish a pattern," McBean said. "I think what you will see is that most people will be happy just to be able to bring their financial obligations up to date, and then they can give some thought to spending."
McBean said he saw some 30 to 40 persons at the post office Monday morning with IRB checks in hand.
"But that doesn't mean they're going to rush right out and donate their long-awaited money to Christmas spending," he cautioned.
While homeowners will be taking care of their mortgages, he theorized, it's the younger crowd that will probably be doing most of the season spending.
Sharon Kendall, manager of Scotia Bank's Havensight branch, said the bank was full Saturday from early morning with people cashing tax-refund checks. In general, "They seemed to be taking a little cash and putting the rest away," she said.
Crowds at the Kmarts, in Tutu Park Mall and along Main Street may be telling at least the start of another, less cautious, story.
"They are definitely starting to come," said Luisa Beers, manager of Little Switzerland at A.H. Riise. "It's really a little bit now, not too much, but it's locals."
And, of course, more refund checks are yet to be distributed.