Business people who depend on night sales have incurred significant losses, with at least one popular nightclub in South Trinidad being forced to shut down, since the State of Emergency was declared on Monday. Businessman Anand Ramnarinesingh, owner of a chain of businesses including Sting Nightclub at La Romaine, said his businesses have been adversely affected and he estimates that his sales have declined by 15 per cent. Ramnarinesingh, who declined to give an estimated cost of his losses, said: "Since the curfew came into affect Sting has been shut down. People are not coming out. They are staying indoors. This has had a big impact on our sales."
As for his other businesses, including Fitness Centre (gym), Playdium and two supermarkets, he has since cut the opening hours by an hour and two hours. He said at the factories and packaging businesses the number of shifts has been reduced, resulting in a decrease in productivity. Ramnarinesingh also predicted a shortage in food and beverages, including rice and flour. Another businessman Rajesh Chhita, owner of Privileges NightLife (Prive) said the police have instructed him to close during curfew hours.
They had planned a party from 9 pm to 5 am, but Chhita said, "Sgt Haynes from the San Fernando police has informed us that there has been a last minute change in policy. No nightclub will be allowed to operate during the curfew hours. He told me we will be arrested. We took a decision to close (Friday) night and we will close tonight (Saturday) to follow the guidelines of the police." Chhita predicted a collapse of the entire industry if something is not done to accommodate them. "It is crippling us. Staff is being displaced, bills have to be paid."