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News Report: Chamber now looking toward having businesses reopen on weekends

From The Nassau Guardian May 29th, 2020

Now that many businesses are allowed to reopen throughout the week, Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Beckles said the next level of advocacy for the business community will be around resuming weekend operations.

For weeks the Chamber has liaised with the government and the private sector to strike a workable balance ensuring safety for Bahamian consumers from the novel coronavirus and continued stimulation of the local economy.

“The achievement of the efforts of the Chamber speaks to the fact that we been able to now get that sector open to now five days a week, for about 10 to 12 hours a day and that is a giant step. That has enabled more companies to bring more people back to work on a full-time basis and remove them from the social support network, which is great because we’re lessening the burden on NIB (National Insurance Board), for instance. But it also speaks to the fact that we are going to continue our advocacy,” Beckles told Guardian Business yesterday.

“Obviously, the weekends are still an issue, but five days a week is fantastic because you basically are there for five of six of the operating days of the week, except Saturday. So we see that as a positive. We continue to dialogue with various sectors…to understand how the adjustments are going and what adjustments still need to be made. All of this is against the backdrop of getting the economy open again, getting it open safely, to where there is a careful balance between health and the economy. So we continue to engage even though those permissions have been given to reopen with some guidelines.”

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