As the country continues towards reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in Speightstown are hoping for better days ahead.
Vendors and store owners told Barbados TODAY that while people have been coming to the northern town in their numbers to pay bills and carry out banking transactions, sales for clothing, household and other items have been moving slowly.
The sellers and managers all expressed hope for a significant improvement in the economy which would be reflected in rising sales, now the shutdown has ended.
Ava, a supervisor at Fashion Nation, indicated that people were mostly coming into the store to buy underwear, sleepwear and handbags, and household items occasionally.
“It has its moments when it is slow because usually, that is how Speightstown is when it is not a busy season. But to me the sales are steady,” Ava said.
A manager at a pharmacy reported that it remained open throughout the shutdown and has seen a steady flow of business.
Fruit and vegetable vendor Waveney told Barbados TODAY that business has not been as good as it was in March when people were rushing to buy food as they braced for the pandemic’s worst.
Waveney said now people seem to be cash strapped and are just buying what they can afford.
“People coming to pay bills, people going to the pharmacy, going to the eye specialist and they are still going and buying a few pieces of clothes. So people actually (have) gone back to living normal,” she said.
Sitting in front of a tray filled with produce, vendor Isilma Scantlebury said that although her sales have been few, she has been thanking God for whatever money she makes.
Management at The Bridge Store explained that despite its variety of cloth, shoes, souvenirs and other items, it has been selling mainly masks in recent weeks.
“This is the problem. We have the things but not the people. But I cannot do what I like without God,” the manager said.
A restaurant worker told Barbados TODAY that he has never seen Speightstown “so dead”.
“Things really slow but the owner is a determined man, he is determined for business to continue at the restaurant. But things are really dead. Usually, some people come and relax on the beach and buy some drinks from us, but not now,” the worker said. [email protected]
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