NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Back to School season this year has been “very challenging to say the least”, according to one local retailer, who told Eyewitness News that like many businesses, “we’ve suffered a major downturn this year”.
Deron Wong, manager at Book World and Stationers said: “Back to school this year has been very challenging, to say the least.
“With the many shutdowns and curfews, like everyone in the Bahamas, we’ve suffered a major downturn this year. We understand what the Prime Minister had to do for the welfare of our nation; balancing economics, health, and all the natural disasters in our daily lives. We’ve struggled to do the best in serving our customers during curbside, deliveries, and limited in-store shopping.”
Wong commended the company’s staff for their efforts.
“I have to commend all my hardworking staff in helping us serve our customers. We’ve had many difficulties gearing up for Back to School this year due to finances, the distance of suppliers, and especially due to Covid-19; suppliers did not have enough inventory and personnel to supply some of our orders.
“We are truly saddened by the many layoffs and deaths caused by this pandemic to the Bahamas as well as the whole world. Our society is adjusting to the new “norm” and we hope everyone in the Bahamas will be safe during these unprecedented times.”
The government introduced a Back-to-School VAT holiday in an effort to make shopping for school supplies less expensive while providing support for local businesses. That initiative commenced on August 31 and ended September 20.
Public schools on New Providence, Abaco and Eleuthera are scheduled to reopen for virtual learning on Monday, while schools on all other islands, including Grand Bahama, will open for face-to-face instruction.
The Ministry of Education had previously announced that schools across The Bahamas would reopen on September 21, however that date was pushed back COVID cases began to climb.