The Retailers Association of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on the government to re-open the sector. In a press release issued today, the Association stated that the closure of the sector has caused financial hardship for themselves and their 78,000 plus employees.
They also stated that they have embarked on a vaccination drive for their employees and are 100% committed to implementing all Covid 19 safety protocols upon re-opening. The following is a press release from The Retailers Association of Trinidad and Tobago:

The newly formed Retailers Association of Trinidad and Tobago is calling on the Government to reopen the sector as soon as possible. Non essential retail outlets have been closed since April, causing financial hardship to owners and the 78,000 plus employees who rely on their jobs to live.

The Retailers are putting forward the following facts: Many retail owners have exhausted their financial resources trying to help employees; pay VAT; taxes ; Rent ; Utilities and meet other obligations. Most employees have not been paid since May. Several businesses have closed permanently and many more will follow if re-opening is not allowed imminently. Very few if any employees have received Government assistance.

The Retailers Association has embarked on an education and vaccination drive for all 78,000 of the sector’s employees. Dr. Sophia Mohammed has already conducted multiple sessions on vaccine education and currently over 60% of the workers in this sector have received at least a first dose of the vaccine. The Retailers Association is 100% committed to implementing all Covid 19 safety protocols upon re-opening.

These include limiting numbers in stores, social distancing, hand sanitizing and mask wearing. The grocery and hardware sectors have shown that this can be done successfully, as did non essential retailers when the sector was re-opened in 2020. It has been a difficult year and a half for the retail sector.

The extended lockdown has driven many retailers to the brink. The sector is keenly aware of its responsibilities to its employees, the public and the Nation. Foremost amongst those responsibilities is keeping everyone involved SAFE. So today, the Retailers Association reaffirms its commitment to provide a safe shopping environment for Trinidad and Tobago.