President of the Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce (GSFCC), Kiran Singh, said when Government finally gives the green light for a full reopening of the economy, many of his members may not be able to resume.
Additionally, he said, those businesses that are ready to resume, they have already indicated that they will cut staff in half.
Singh, in an interview with GML, said businesses do not expect sales to boom in the short term, and whatever profits they make must be allocated wisely to cover all expenses incurred.
He said the extended periods of closure over the past 15 months have severely depleted their savings.
Singh stated, “Members can no longer financially support their furloughed staff as they had done during the first lockdown. While government support was evident, unfortunately, it was not sufficient to meet the basic needs of the many thousands of workers.”
He pointed out that while manufacturing companies were allowed to reopen last week, the sector has not yet experienced a return to 100 per cent production.
“Some factories, and by extension employment, continue to remain idle until such time that the retail sector is allowed to engage in commerce. For example, mattresses are manufactured locally, but with furniture stores remaining close, there is simply no demand for such products.”
He said “Thousands of employees within the restaurant sector remain forced to stay at home.”
Singh said the money supply is severely stunted in the local economy and continues to have a negative multiplier effect.