Businessman Walton Richards
There are more complaints about the negative effects of the States of Public Emergency on businesses.
Businessman Walton Richards, who operates an entertainment centre along with a restaurant in Greenwich Farm in Kingston, says he has been losing thousands of dollars since the state of emergency was declared in sections of the Corporate Area on September 23.
"I'm losing a lot of money - over $400,000 - because by 8 o'clock the place haffi close or they will say they would lock me up if I don't close the place," Mr. Richards told RJR News.
He recalled a recent incident in which he and relatives as well as a few friends were gathered at his establishment for a get-together when police showed up and demanded they leave because "in a state of emergency no more than one person must deh together." He said he appealed to the officer, telling him that he was the owner of the establishment, however: "Him seh if me gi' him anymore talk, him can lock me up and take me before the court."
Mr. Richards has said he is frustrated by the system and is urging the Prime Minister to make changes to the State of Emergency for the Christmas season to allow businesses to continue beyond the current closing hours.
"I'm actually in bankruptcy right now because I have no form of money, I cyaah even find food to eat, I have no form of earning except by this place and for the last four months, it has been closed. Everybody come with them money to rent this place, I have to turn them back because...the law does not permit me to rent the place...unless the state of emergency is over," he explained.