Industry bigwigs are suggesting that preconceived notions about the sector also affect them as people consider security companies wicked, for example because guards have to buy their own uniforms.
People also believe security companies are swimming in revenue at the expense of the guards.
Commander George Overton, president of the Jamaica Society for Industrial Security (JSIS), argued that as independent contractors, the individuals are offering themselves to the company to provide services.
"You basically dictate when you are available for duties," he said. "In that arrangement, the security officer is basically treating himself as a self-employed individual."
Overton said based on the tax structure, as agreed by the Government, private security workers get tax relief.
"So they tell you, 'Oh we have to pay for our uniform' but what they don't tell you is that they get tax relief for that expense."
Overton said there are 28 companies within the JSIS representing 80 per cent of the industry, and many are struggling.
He said the issue was with what are called ratios, particularly the element of the guard's direct wage against the billing.
"So if I bill, for argument's sake, $300 an hour for a guard, I am paying something like $260 an hour directly to the guard," Overton explained. The other $40 goes to company's overheads.
"I remember when I joined the industry in 1989, we were pretty much operating on a 50-50 basis," he recalled. "Today, the best of the companies in the market are operating at 70-30 ratio."
Pessoa agreed with those figures and opined that customers were having trouble making payments, even the biggest consumer, the Government.
"The customer is demanding a longer term in terms of credit to pay," he said. "But we can't delay because we have commitments to the guards. We have to pay them every fortnight."