NASSAU, BAHAMAS- With some businesses on Grand Bahama likely to not recover from the double blow of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce president Greg LaRoda said yesterday it will be a “tough and long road back” towards recovery of the island’s ailing economy.
LaRoda told Eyewitness News that a recent survey by the GBCC revealed that some businesses have indicated that they would be unable to recover after being devastated by Hurricane Dorian just seven months ago and now facing the fall-out from COVID-19.
”For the most part a lot of folks understand the reason behind the lock downs, the curfew and restrictions on non-essential businesses operating. On the other side of that you have to strike a balance I guess where some folks who are still struggling to recover from Dorian are probably in a financial situation where they are looking for some form of relief.
“I think what the government has done recently by beginning the phased opening is welcomed by a lot of businesses that were not open at all and are now able to perhaps offer curb side service and delivery. This would allow them to bring in some money and keep some staff employed. Some bills keep coming whether your business is open or not. I think that move has brought some relief to at least a lot of the small businesses,” said LaRoda.
Still, he noted that some businesses will not survive.
“Unfortunately there will be some businesses that will not emerge from this. We have seen in surveys we have done in recent weeks that some persons will not make it back or recover from this. We have seen in some of the surveys we have done where some folks have said they can’t make it back.
“The longer this pandemic drags on the more businesses will fall into that category. That’s why I believe if we can phase in the opening businesses can make some money. It depends how long we are in this situation. If we can continue progress towards full opening a lot of businesses can recover. It’s going to be tough and a long road back for the economy of Grand Bahama.”