D’Aguilar: Country Must Reopen to Prevent Closure of Other Businesses
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Minister of Tourism responds to closure of Luciano’s
On Sunday, Luciano announced the closure of its doors after 16 years in operation, citing “the current economic climate, the restaurant’s reliance on the tourist market and the economic uncertainty in the coming months” as reasoning for its closure.
In a statement, the Italian restaurant said “the economic impact of COVID-19 was the final nail in the coffin, leaving no choice but to close and make its team redundant.”
D’Aguilar said the Bahamas has to prevent the closure of other businesses in the country by reopening the economy.
“‘We have to, as quickly and safely as possible, begin to reopen our economy,” he said outside of Cabinet on Tuesday.
“Not only do we have to reopen the economy but we have to rebuild the customer base.”
D’Aguilar continued, “So it’s not just July 1st, every thing is back to normal. It’s going to take time for customers to get safe and feel comfortable enough to want to go out, go to a dinner, go to a restaurant. And that journey will be quite difficult for a number of businesses.
“So it impresses upon me even more that as quickly as possible, we have to open our economy to prevent the unfortunate events such as what happened at Luciano’s.”
D’Aguilar said businesses face financial hardships in the COVID-19 shutdown while paying staff, keeping key personnel employed,paying electricity and paying rent.
“The longer it goes on, the less resources will be at the end of the journey to restart business.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis gave a purported date of July 1st for the restart of commercial flights.