NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Arawak Cay vendors say they feel a “major sense of discrimination” after being abruptly shutdown just over a week ago.
In a letter to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Arawak Cay Association president Rodney Russell called for a “level playing field”.
He expressed “grave concerns” over the shutdown ordered by the prime minister given that the popular cultural hub had only been open for a few weeks prior to the recent shutdown.
According to Russell, vendors spent “hundreds of dollars” to ensure restaurants were COVID-19 health protocols compliant, and ‘thousands spent on restocking inventory”.
“Arawak Cay restaurants are the first to close again with no explanation given and no dialogue with stakeholders,” said Russell.
“No cases of COVID-19 were ever linked to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay and if so it was never communicated.”
Russell noted that COVID-19 cases had been linked to the local Pizza Hut and Wendy’s franchises.
Those restaurants have remained open, he said.
“We feel a major sense of discrimination towards the entire Arawak Cay vendors which is contributing to major losses, hundreds of Bahamian jobs being affected and families being displaced,” said Russell.
“We have done our part and will continue to do so to mitigate against the possible spread of COVID0-19. We are merely asking that we are given a fair and level level playing field to conduct business as others are dong so.”
Restaurants at Arawak Cay and Potter’s Cay were ordered to close on July 20.