Non-essential business owners organizing march to reopen

Closed, non-essential businesses will not survive past September, small business advocate and Caribbean management and marketing consultant Mark Turnquest told Guardian Business yesterday, adding that he is spearheading a march to advocate for the reopening of businesses that have been ordered to remain closed by the competent authority because of COVID-19.

Turnquest said the commissioner of police has acknowledged receipt of his request for 100 business owners to march from Arawak Cay to Parliament Square.

According to Turnquest, the constant and “haphazard” opening and closing of businesses has caused many owners to lose a lot of money – him included.

“When August came and after we paid our rent, all of us were shut down for three weeks,” said Turnquest. “All of that money has gone in the garbage.”

He said 75 percent of his business associates have brick and mortar operations.

Turnquest said the march will be focused, disciplined and is designed to emphasize to the competent authority and the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) that non-essential businesses cannot remain closed beyond September.

He said when the ERC finally presents its comprehensive plan for the country, it could already be too late for some businesses.

“I don’t know who he’s (the competent authority) listening to, but 90 percent of us are at the crossroads…either you’re in business or you’re out of business,” Turnquest said.

“What we want to do is to bring a face to these non-essential business owners who they don’t check for. So, the march is geared towards bringing the faces of 100 business owners who they never talk to, who they never check for.”

Tunquest said the march will involve 100 business owners who will wear face masks and remain socially distant during their walk to Parliament, where they will present a policy statement and a plan for reopening the country.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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