Thu | Dec 2, 2021

Business can’t be good with three days of lockdown – shopkeeper

Published:Wednesday | September 15, 2021 | 12:08 AM
Vivine Brown, shopkeeper in Soho, St Thomas, shows a pumpkin that spoiled in her shop during the ‘no movement days’.

SMALL BUSINESS operators in St Thomas are reeling under the pressure of no-movement days implemented by the Government in its fight against COVID-19.

Among a significant decrease in sales, they say they have been suffering losses in the form of spoilage.

Speaking with The Gleaner, shop owner Vivine Brown of Soho in the parish expressed her fears of the scheduled lockdown days.

Displaying ground provisions that have gone bad, the woman bemoaned that she has lost more than she has been able to make over the past few weeks.

“Business can’t be good any more with three days of lockdown. Everything start get slow. Sales drop and I have a whole lot of spoil goods because the place locked up and the time is hot and the things spoil so it’s loses all over. Things go bad, including bread, bulla, bun, cut cheese, ground provisions and so on. … and still, when the goods come in, you can’t even pay for them,” she said.

Brown encouraged the Government to reconsider no-movement days, for the sake of small business owners and especially those residents who are unable to provide food for three consecutive days.

According to her, “Sunday is usually the most major sales day and then Monday so the lockdown is a big problem. I have faced almost 75 per cent loss since these new measures. I think if it’s even half-day lockdown, it would be better. Not everybody can buy six pounds of things at a time.”

The shopkeeper shared an instance where an elderly woman visited her establishments recently and in tears.

“She doesn’t have any fridge to put meat in so she can’t buy up and save, and people like that are very prevalent here. It’s mostly low class so people live from day to day,” she revealed.

Brown drained the stale juices from a pumpkin that had gone bad, as she, alongside her partner Franklin Oliver, moved to clean their small grocery store following last week’s no-movement days.

Oliver told The Gleaner that this has become their post-lockdown routine.

According to him, “Every time after the lockdown we have to just come and throw away what no good and clean up what we can. The tomatoes and things like that spoil up on us because we have to keep them in trays in the van so every time a lockdown period happens it’s what we have to go through.

“We have to come and throw out things every Wednesday. We just a try work with it.”

Shanna Monteith