Business groups: We understand new restrictions

Nirad Tewarie -
Nirad Tewarie -

SOME business groups have said they understand the need for the new covid19 restrictions that the Prime Minister announced on Monday.

They said they would do what they could to help their workers while these restrictions are in effect.

American Chamber of Commerce CEO Nirad Tewarie said, "The well-being of our employees has been our primary concern from the beginning of the pandemic.

"All the while we have been employing flexi-work with people coming to the office largely at their discretion but as absolutely necessary. We have expanded our mental-health benefits and maintained salaries and benefits for all of our team members throughout."

In a subsequent statement Amcham said the measures Dr Rowley announced appear to be necessary at this time. Saying the Government is trying to balance several difficult factors, and the acquisition of vaccines remains a top priority. Amcham urged citizens to behave responsibly to curb the spread of the virus.

Supermarket Association president Rajiv Diptee said supermarkets and pharmacies will have to explore transport arrangements for their workers or "look into tweaking the hours of operation depending on availability of transport in the particular communities."

He said, "We commiserate with those businesses that now will be closed...These businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and we take absolutely no pride in being able to continue to operate as an essential business."

He pleaded with citizens to abide by the new guidelines so not more restrictions are added.

Diptee reiterated the association's previous reminder to shoppers "to send one person from your family to the supermarkets in an attempt to flatten the curve of transmission."

The TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce asked if increased restrictions alone will curb the spread of covid19. The chamber hoped these measures would be robustly enforced and there would be continued efforts to access vaccines for the population.

While the movement of people is a concern, the chamber said the take-away and delivery services used by many businesses " are extremely safe and, in many instances, contactless."

The chamber wanted Government to provide financial support for the business sectors that have been affected. Should this be a challenge, the chamber suggested it could be better to let established businesses with a track record of safety operate with "reduced capacities so they can sustain operations even at a lower level."

Describing the current infection trend and its potential impact on the health system as sobering, the chamber urged the public to obey the regulations and only go out if necessary.

Greater San Fernando Area Chamber of Commerce president Kiran Singh accepted that drastic action was needed because of the increasing covid19 infection and mortality rates.

While expressing concern about the impact the new restrictions will have on the economy, he welcomed Rowley's announcement that religious bodies will be given funding to assist the less fortunate. He also hoped that this, together with funding being allocated by the Finance Ministry, will help those affected by these restrictions.


"Business groups: We understand new restrictions"

More in this section