MAYARO MP Rushton Paray said while he welcomes the phased easing of covid19 restrictions, micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) remain under heavy duress potentially for another 30 days, with no system of relief to them.
Paray said while he supports a phased easing of restrictions towards a full resumption of national activities, the Prime Minister should have advanced a strategy for expediting relief grants to those businesses still in lockdown mode.
“The Mayaro economy is heavily dependent on local tourism, and with bars and beaches remaining closed at this time, this will continue to add pressure on small and medium businesses in this area.”
Paray is concerned that while there is a need to protect vulnerable workers through the salary relief grants offered by government, there is also a need to protect businesses to ensure workers have employment to look forward to when normalcy returns.
In phase one, which began on Monday and runs to May 23, food establishments such as restaurants and roadside vending have been allowed to resume. Paray said this will help many in the lower-income bracket.
“The re-introduction of these operations in the Mayaro constituency will bring relief to hundreds who are employed by doubles vendors and by various fast food outlets in the Mayaro area.” This, he said, is a welcomed relief to many families who did not have an income over the past six weeks.
Paray urged his constituents to follow the rules set by the health professionals and to have patience as they await phase two, set for May 24 to June 6, when more businesses are set to reopen.
He reiterated the words of the PM saying once infection rates do not increase the manufacturing and public sectors will reopen. He is also glad there will be resumption of public transportation, at 50 per cent capacity, during the second phase.
Paray in a release, thanked doctors, nurses, police officers and other essential-service personnel for their service during the pandemic.