The Confederation of regional business Chambers says that the economic impact of the covid 19 pandemic has permanently closed about 6000 businesses in the country. As the country prepares to see the reopening of the retail and services sector on Monday 16th August, the significant financial impact of the covid lockdown measures has been the death knell to many small and medium sized businesses.
Coordinator of the Confederation Jai Leladharsingh speaking on behalf of the Confederation said that based on a survey done by the Confederation, just over 6,000 out of 17,000 small and medium enterprises have faced economic decimation.
He said many of these businesses are owned and run by women and they need State intervention and help ,if they are to recover and reopen. The businesses include restaurants, in-house dining, spas, beauty salons and caterers.
Leladarsingh also said: “The Ministry of Legal Affairs indicated that there are some 28,000 registered businesses in T&T which comprised the formal sector but there is also a large informal sector which has been impacted and needs to be researched. He also said the $300 million tranche initially provided to commercial banks to assist SME’s were under-utilised, many business owners felt it was a a form of entrapment.
The Confederation is calling on the government to offer support in the form of cheques to small business owners so that they could retool, restock and rehire employees. He added the permanent closure of these businesses will have a devastating effect on the economy as a whole.