The prolonged infrastructural work in the resort town of Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is said to be talking a toll on commerce there, as a number of business men complain that they have been faced with financial problems resulting from a downturn in business.
Among those said to be affected are the Double V Complex, Little Pub Complex and Wilderness Resort.
Both the first vice president of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce, Joey Issa; and former president, Dr. John McDowell, confirmed that businesses were hurting in Ocho Rios. Without naming any of the afflicted entities, Issa said the situation was so bad that some might not be able to survive beyond the end of the year.
A number of businesses were said to be heavily struggling to prevent a takeover of their properties.
Informed sources disclosed that at least four major business establishments in Ocho Rios were recently forced to enter into agreements with other businesses to bail them out of their troubles.
Dr. McDowell noted that several businessmen were “bawling” as they saw no hope for the immediate future. Pointing to the difficulties some people were having in trying to hold on to their properties, he said that things had been very bad in recent months and some people were barely surviving.
The opening of the Ocho Rios by-pass to vehicular traffic has also compounded an already bad situation. With most vehicles now using the by-pass, the eastern section of Ocho Rios, including the Pineapple Place Shopping Centre has lost a number of customers. Most of the tenants there have moved or are thinking of closing down their operations soon.
Referring to the situation in Pineapple Place, Dr. McDowell said efforts were being made to revive business in that area, but that in the meantime the terrible road conditions would have to be improved in order to encourage business people to return there.
Source: The Observer