Sando businesses considering closing on Saturdays

Business in San Fernando is so slow that store owners are now questioning whether it is economical to open on Saturdays, says San Fernando Business Association (SBA) president, Daphne Bartlett.

Bartlett said store owners were concerned about the slowing of business in San Fernando and called on Government to meet with stakeholders.

Speaking at an association dinner at Canton Palace, San Fernando, on Saturday Bartlett said, “We all know that business drives the economy and if things are slowing to the point where you do not want to do business again or you are losing business owners because things are so slow, I think the Government need to sit down with a team of economists, good financial advisers and plan for the country, see what can be done.”


The event was attended by San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, economist Roger Hosein and San Fernando business owners.

Bartlett said a rise in criminal activities was the main contributor to poor sales. She said nightlife in the city was grinding to a halt, as people were no longer willing to leave their homes to participate in activities at night.

“Crime is a big problem, people are not leaving their homes as they used to and they no longer participate in businesses at night. That is grinding things to a halt. And I would like to ask the Minister of National Security, the Prime Minister, to give us an explanation,” she said.

Economist Roger Hosein agreed that there was an urgent need to improve the crime situation, as it had become an obstacle to investment.

“And we need to find novel ways to help increase the non-energy sector and we need to find ways to reduce the burden on the private sector which is the engine to economic growth in any society,” he said.


Embrace property tax

Hosein said the economy was in urgent need of change and measures were needed to help bring about this change.

One suggestion, he said, was to further devalue the Trinidad and Tobago currency.

Another was the imposition of property tax which should be embraced by citizens.

“The Minister of Finance has proposed to introduce the property tax very soon and this is a measure I think we should support. There would be case by case scenarios which we need to look at find ways to deal with those scenarios. But as a whole the property tax is something which we should embraced,” he said.

Hosein said State can also consider cutting Government expenditure down from $54 billion to $45 billion.

“The State would also want to look at other means to increase revenue. They would have to be novel, they would have to sit down and analyse the existing modes of raising revenue and see which areas could be tampered with and tweaked to enhance the amount of State inflow,” he said.

Source: Trinidad Express