NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Straw Market Authority has seen $165,000 in lost rental income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Works Minister Desmond Bannister.
Bannister said the sum represented losses up to May 31, and reflected a 71.4 percent decrease.
“As a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, the SMA has revised and updated its 2020 Budget,” he said.
“The updated budget is primarily based on the assumption that vendors will not pay rent to the SMA until January, 2021.”
Bannister said while the SMA does not intend to waive the payment of rent if, or when, its markets reopen. “However, practically, we must attempt to address the real possibility that vendors may not be in a financial position to pay rent.”
Bannister also noted that the fire alarm and fire sprinkler system, and the electrical issues at the Bay Street Straw Market have been addressed by the Ministry of Public Works.
“For the period 1st January, 2017 to date the SMA has spent $15,061.08 on repairs and maintenance to the Cable Beach Straw Market.”