Following the announcement made by Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis, during a zoom press conference meeting, members of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) expressed concerns regarding the lockdown extension and how it ultimately impacts the already depressed economy here on Grand Bahama.
President of the local chamber, Greg Laroda, expressed that while the extension is disappointing to many, it is the reality.
“On Monday August 17, Prime Minister Dr. Minnis would have announced another seven-day extension to the lockdowns on Grand Bahama. While it was not what we had recommended and is probably disappointing to most of us, it is where we find ourselves this morning.
“We continue to call for the quickest, possible solution, to the end of these lockdowns and to bring about a careful, phased re-opening, as soon as possible. We will continue to engage the Government, advocating for alternative solutions.
“We will adhere to the extension and ask that every Grand Bahamian and every business operator do the same. Also, (we ask) that they take responsibility for adherence to the proper COVID-19 protocols, so that we can get out of this situation sooner rather than later,” he said.
LaRoda further stated that it is likely that the virus is something that residents will have to deal with on an ongoing basis.
“We can all see that this issue of COVID-19, which is now foremost in the minds of the entire Bahamas, and the world in general … we are going to have to find ways to live with this pandemic for a very long time. That may even extend beyond when a vaccine is discovered.
“Normal for us, may never be normal again. I am sure there will be some businesses that will not survive this pandemic, and, then there will also be new businesses that will spring up from this. What is evident, is that this is a problem that we all have to combine our minds and resources, to come up with long-term solutions.
“We cannot look at this as just a government problem. We also cannot approach it as the government is the problem. With the information that we have, we need to provide solutions and suggestions along the way to the government, as to how we can get out of this,” concluded Laroda.