Since mid-March, TT has been on lock down because of covid 19. Thousands have died globally and TT has been striving to keep those numbers down.
But besides the deaths, the virus has taken a toll on the country economically and financially, especially to the the small business community.
Fast-food worker and single parent, June Weekes has had no income coming in since the country went on shut down mode in mid- March.
“I don’t even know what to say because nothing going on for me. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I am the sole breadwinner in the family. I had to go to the bank and ask for a two months grace on my car loan. Right now nothing going on. My niece and my daughter were working with me so now they too home.”
Weekes said she was living off her savings, small as it was. She operated a small stall in Valencia providing hamburgers, hotdogs, fries and other fast foods to satisfy late night limers.
Now that the country is in quarantine, her business has been shut down.
“Right now I am living off my savings which is not much if I tell you. I just going by. I didn’t apply for any grant because the amount of things they asking for and then you have to get people to sign it, it not fair. I didn’t ask anybody for help. I just here hoping and praying that this just pass by and let me come back out and do my thing. “I have faith and I’ll try. I have my daughter and two grandchildren. When I reopen it will be the same way I started up. When I reopen it will be like I now starting back, use what little I have and start to make a turnover, buy back and turnover and turnover. Weekes has been supporting her family for the past ten years and is determined to resume her business.
When told that the quarantine period had been extended until May 15, Weekes just shook her head. “What I will do girl, what I will do?”
Susan Thomas has been a hairdresser for over 25 years and conducted her business in Arima. She always rented until January this year when she decided to move her business to her home to cut down on costs.
Covid19 made sure that did not happen. “I have no money coming in, nothing. You can’t work because you don’t know who watching you, but financially it is horrible. I moved my business home since January and I stopped because clients are travelling in taxis and whatever and you are coming to me and bringing it to my home. I have shut down until whenever.
“The savings I have that is what I have to be pulling from. I am not working and I am not working. My son does graphics and going in people’s cars and doing tints so that stopped. And he was doing delivery with a fast food place and you know that shut down too. The only person working here is my husband and he is sanitation worker.”
Thomas said she knew that this pandemic and quarantine will not end soon, but was hoping for the best.
She said she and her son had applied for salary grants, but did not know who will be granted one.
“They said only one person per family so we will have to wait and see.”