Some straw vendors not only lost business during the Nassau Straw Market’s 20-month closure, some lost thousands in merchandise, with one vendor telling Guardian Business that she lost as much as $5,000 after six duffle bags full of merchandise went missing.
The straw market officially reopened yesterday.
Terez Eneas said when the straw market was forced to close, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she took some of her merchandise home with her, but also packed some merchandise away atop a stall she manages for her uncle.
According to Eneas, when the vendors were finally allowed to check on their merchandise 18 months after they left the market, she noticed six bags had gone missing.
“I packed my things when I heard that the market was closing because I know that the market has a lot of rodents in it. I decided to pack up a lot of my stuff because I sell a lot of T-shirts and sweat shirts,” Eneas said.
“I packed others but I put them on top of the stall. When I came back, when they told us we could come in, to my discovery, just as I walked through the aisle, I recognized the plastic was not fixed in the manner I left it in.
“When I opened up the plastic, one of the bags was open up and about six or seven bags of things were gone. They were all gone.”
Eneas sad she invested a lot of money in that merchandise, estimating the cost of the loss to be around $5,000.
Another vendor, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she lost about $300 worth of merchandise.
President of the Straw Vendors Advancement Association Celestine Eneas said the missing products were reported to the Straw Market Authority.
An official from the authority said yesterday that an active investigation is underway into how the products went missing from the shuttered building.
“We were not allowed in here and if they allowed us in here, someone from the authority walked with the vendors to the shops, but when the vendors came, their stuff was gone,” said Eneas.
“We made our complaint to the authority. We’re still waiting to hear from them.”