Real Estate Realities

Dear Santa

Santa, as I am sure you know, it has been one heck of a year with the endless trials of the coronavirus here in our beautiful Bahama Land and around the globe. Despite all the setbacks we have endured as a country, we still have so much to be thankful for. We lost some of our families and friends to this virus and would appreciate if you can bring some much needed cheer to them during this holiday season, that for many will not be a festive time.

Santa, can I ask that you look after those healthcare workers who are on the front line, putting their own lives at risk day after day, they are truly our heroes. Santa, could you also please look after the police and defense force personnel enforcing these lockdowns and still keeping those bad boys from creating havoc on our island. On a side note, it seems that these curfews have had a positive impact on our crime statistics, particularly crimes of a violent nature, so much kudos to our men and women in uniform.

If you can, please look after those charities, churches and corporate citizens who have answered the call to provide much-needed food to those thousands of Bahamians who have been challenged to navigate severe hardship with loss of jobs.

We cannot forget those folks who support the Salvation Army by putting cash in those kettles. Those fine folks deserve presents – those that pass by and don’t donate, fill their bags with coal.

Santa we are grateful to Bahamas Power and Light and the Water and Sewerage Corporation for giving us some time to pay our bills. With so many of us out of job, at times we have to decide if we buy food or pay the light bill and food wins!

We are also thankful to the banks for working with those unemployed persons. Santa this is no time for them to be hard on delinquent borrowers, especially homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments. Please bless the institutions who devised a plan so many can keep their homes. This goes without saying Santa, but I don’t think anyone expected this virus to have such such far-reaching effects around the world.

I hate to be a tattle-tale Santa, but there are employees who are complaining about not getting Christmas bonuses! I cry shame on them, these folks had the audacity to complain while thousands of their brethren had to go on lines at 3 a.m. to get food to feed their families.

In the private sector, if a company has a bad year rest assured no bonuses are paid out. Bonuses are rewards for good performances and not something that is automatically handed out. The only time this may not be the case is where it’s stipulated in the contract by the union bosses, who appear to be better negotiators than the inept ones that work for the government.

Santa, our small nation really endured a lot of hardship these last several years, with Hurricane Dorian destroying Abaco and Grand Bahama. Many families are still trying to rebuild their lives from the grips of devastation. We are thankful for the Rotary organization that is helping get families back into their homes that have been destroyed by this horrible hurricane.

Last but not least Santa, I wish to send a special thank you to my hard working family of agents and apprentices at Darville Wong Realty. As a collective they have shown great resilience in the face of adversity brought on by a dismal economic environment. We are grateful to them for sticking with their profession despite no face-to-face interaction and with Zoom meetings now the norm. At least technology has allowed us to stay connected in some form during these times.

Santa, I can be a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season, but I believe in you and the magic, cheer and joy you bring to the millions of youngsters around the world. Let’s face it, we all get lost in the child-like wonder of Christmas.

My last and final wish Santa, is that my Bahamian people make every effort to be safe and follow the protocols, wash our hands and practice social distancing. Thanks for listening Santa!

Merry Christmas friends!

• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. He is also a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: williamuwong@gmail.com.

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