Georgetown business community is reporting that it suffered a dramatic drop in sales on Friday in the wake of the violent protest at Agricola on Thursday evening.
Tension in the atmosphere, poor turnout of employees, few customers and meagre sales to fill the cash registers were some unusual features for a Friday for businesses on Regent and Main Streets, they said.
However, this is not surprising for many business owners since protests and any form of unrest negatively affect sales.
On Thursday evening, Agricola residents staged a fiery protest blocking the East Bank Public Road at Eccles and Agricola. The protest was reportedly in response to Government?s support of Clement Rohee as Home Affairs Minister. The community is grieving the execution of one of its youths, Shaquille Grant, by ranks of the Guyana Police Force.
While, protestors were attacking the police and robbing and beating innocent passersby, traffic had stalled for hours leaving many stranded. According to business owners, many employees did turn out to work on Friday out of fear of what occurred on Thursday.
?Some of my employees live in Diamond (East Bank Demerara) and they had to sleep in town owing to what was happening on the road, so they couldn?t come out to work. And many of them were afraid to travel because of the violence,? a store owner told this publication.
Even with limited employees, serving customers was not difficult owing to the few who came out to shop. Many store owners related that sales were down by at least 70 percent on Friday and there was a slight increase yesterday.
One proprietor said, ?Business was already slow before the protest and Friday was slower. It is coming to year-end and businesses need the holiday sales. Hopefully what happened last year doesn?t occur again.?
Similar sentiments were expressed by other business owners who mentioned that rumours of potential disturbances in the commercial zone also put a damper on business. Many opined that the rumours could have contributed to the light flow of traffic.