Chamber backs curfew despite business panic

| 25/03/2020 | 100 Comments
Cayman News Service
Woody Foster

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has offered its support to the government for the measures put in place to try to curb the potentially dangerous spread of COVID-19 in this community. Urging its members to cooperate with the extended curfew, which started Wednesday evening, President Woody Foster said the safety of Cayman’s people was the main priority.

Urging the business community to do the right thing, he said, “This is an urgent appeal for cooperation and support. It is absolutely critical the business community comply with government’s mandate or we will face a similar fate as other countries with widespread community transmission of the COVID-19 virus.”

However, it is the private sector, including Chambers members, that have been causing the headache for government. Thousands of employers tried to seek exemptions for as many as 20,000 workers today, Premier Alden McLaughlin revealed at the Wednesday press briefing, when he said that this had driven him to impose the 58-hour curfew.

Foster, who will be directly impacted as the Foster’s Supermarket chain which he manages will have to close down for this lockdown, said, “While we understand the harsh economic ramifications businesses are facing, this is an unprecedented crisis that the business community can play a significant role in, by supporting the measures put in place by the government in keeping the country safe.”

Foster said that if businesses cooperate, the community can contain the spread of COVID-19, but that means supporting the curfew, self-isolation measures and letting non-essential staff stay home.

The Chamber asked all businesses to keep up to date on the COVID-19 issue by sourcing information from trusted government, Chamber and media outlets only. 


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Category: Business

Comments (100)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The chamber backs the curfew, 99% of their members doesn’t.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    What happened to opening supermarkets opening Sunday so we don’t have to stand in line so long for limited shopping hours?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The foster and kirkconnells became multi billionaires in the last few days. Thay happy to shut down for a day or two to count all the extra money

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe, but you should still be grateful they bring in food for you to eat.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You know we paying them to bring it in right?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly! It’s not a charity service. If they want to give it up I’m quite sure someone will take their spot in the exclusive rights line.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So hate the business owner because they make or made money?

          Never mind their business expenses.

          If you’re so self righteous then go and open your own supermarket and HELP the economy by providing an essential service.

          You need to stay home with your negative energy until you fix it.

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      • John D. Rockefellow says:

        Bring in food for you to eat? They don’t care what you do with it, so long as they make money selling it. It’s a good business to be in. What I really wish is that our fuel prices were reasonable! There is a bit of competition in the grocery business, but not in a fuel cartel.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What drivel. Half the fruit in fosters was even on special yesterday.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are ungrateful ass.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Go back under the rock you came from. Billionaires in 2 days? Don’t think they sold that much or have colectivly in their years before of business. That product has been. On the island for weeks and months in there warehouses. Panic buyers mean they can’t stock the shelves fast enough.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Multi-billionaires? Man, you bats*** crazy! And if you all weren’t hoarding a year’s worth of food, they wouldn’t be making so much anyway!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I work in the private sector for a Caymanian and btw I AM A CAYMANIAN. My own has NO regard for me or my family as the entire staff compliment were told no work means no pay. It’s two sides to this pandemic and I honestly think the premier should consult Canada’s premier and notice he didn’t ask HE TOLD! HE GAVE A DIRECTIVE! and he had a plan in place for the ENTIRE COUNTRY!

    Most Caymanian business owners only care about there family. My boss doesn’t care whether my family eats. They didn’t even pay early to ensure we could wait in the long lines to get food. When asked we were told it ain’t month end and if we get locked down hours will be deducted for you not physically being at work and if the lockdown persist You will have to take vacation and then maybe paid minimum wage. Where do I go for help? Whose gonna say to them were Caymanian? Just imagine what the permit holders go through and are going through.

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    • Anonymous says:

      #caymankind Hunger Games version.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re caymanian?
      Know your rights!

      Two words: labour board!

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe you. I have worked for 8 different employers in my career here. Three were born Caymanians, 4 were status Caymanians and 1 was an expat (for an LCCL company). I’ve been ripped off by three of them – two of the three born-Caymanians and the other a status Caymanian from the Caribbean. None of those who ripped me off thought the laws actually applied to them. They thought they were entitled to rip people off. They were equal opportunity crooks – they ripped of Caymanians and expats alike. However, word got around this small island and they all ended up with difficulties in hiring Caymanians and none of the educated Caymanians wanted to work for them. Expats, though, didn’t know better until they were here a while. I am sure there is a lot of ripping off being done right now (pensions for sure, probably health insurance, maybe back salary) and many are totally abandoning any responsibility for their employees, but especially expat employees who have little recourse. It’s true that the government will not likely enforce their stern talk because they don’t do that in the best of times, and this certainly isn’t that. But people here need to remember which companies have ripped off their employees or just offered them no assistance at all, and which companies have treated their employees with respect and support. And we should support and work with companies that treat their employees right, while spurning those that don’t.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    It’s understandable to want to place a shutdown but two days will not make a huge difference and this decision was made purely on emotion which is concerning. The Premier is angry because he received over 800 emails asking for essential workers, but he is the one who said send me your list so what the heck did he expect? Grow balls and just say XYZ are the essentials period. Not even Class A banks made the list, so sorry for those who need to be paid, I guess gov’t thinks banks are 100% electronic (just a hint, they aren’t). Well people do not be surprised if this gets extended way longer, but I do hope people are allowed to at least get groceries, and for you haters out there telling people the writing was on the wall you do not know the circumstances of those individuals that never got to the market so stop judging cause that is why we are in this mess too much hatred. Stay safe and stay put.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Circumstances why people didn’t stock up? Those already on lock down because of family members travelling, those that live from paycheck to paycheck and dint have the funds, those that listened to the governments advice not to stock up because the stores had plenty of food and were staying open.

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      • Anonymous says:

        True, but our Government knew. They could have helped with assistance packages. Either monetary or actual food baskets. To put the burden on small businesses is unrealistic. Many do not have the liquidity to continue paying staff with no incomings revenue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The two days was an emergency measure to work out a proper plan for shelter in place, which will go into affect on Saturday at 5am.

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  6. Anon says:

    If all the Caymanians with British passports went to live in the UK, then maybe we could get a few expats elected to the L.A. and we would all be happier.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m so happy at that a strong ethical and honest person like Woody is at the helm of the Chamber of Commerce!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah let’s hope he gets the shelves restocked. Sick of him saying no need to panic buy, I listened to him, stayed home and all I have now is 2 day supplies of food. If the curfew goes beyond 48 hours, what then Woody?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wasn’t Woody that shut the shops.And the Governor was still saying don’t panic buy – right after Alden gave us a couple of hours to get groceries in before the lock down started.

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        • Anonymous says:

          No. We all had time to prepare and sort ourselves out. Just looks to me like some of us need an invitation from the governor just to decide whether to buy a sensible amount of food and goods for what has clearly become a crisis. And we could all see it coming.

          Hindsight is a you know what.

          • Anonymous says:

            problem was not an invitation from the governor- it was following the governor’s advice for the previous week NOT to panic shop. Guess you just went ahead and looked after number 1 and are now making fun of people for following the governors advice?

      • Anonymous says:

        CSLM DOWN. You have no idea how lucky you are to have someone like Woody Foster in what may be the most important role for your island right now. These are good people!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Calm down, jeez. The government just needs breathing space to come up with a workable policy. Asking nicely didn’t work because everyone in Cayman thinks they’re a special case.

        Enough with the hysterical flapping. It’s Thursday, you can make it to Saturday without going shopping.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You’re an idiot. Did woody tell you to stay home?
        Is common sense even a thing anymore?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Always shopped at Fosters and always thought the management of the establishment to be honest and ethical until now. Supermarkets, pharmacies and just about anyone selling anything are ripping the people off left right and centre..In Fosters yesterday a s small jar of Vicks Rub CI$18 + and a simple Inhaler CI $10+. ALL PHARMACIES HAVE INCREASED PRICES . $30 for the cheapest quality rubber gloves on the market. $20 for one flimsy one time use mask. Are they not the people getting breaks from Government that should be handed to the consumer? Will any of this be checked by CIG.

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      • Anonymous says:

        OK – it’s called supply and demand. It’s a basic economic principle. When there is a huge demand for a particular product, the prices go up. This isn’t Foster’s and the pharmacies raising the prices, it’s their suppliers. You think those thing aren’t in high demand in the United States? Who you really should be complaining about is the people on this island who went in an bought 12 jars of Vicks Rub and every mask they could get their hands on. I say one guy who had about 20 four-packs of Clorox wipes in his cart. Now it’s possible he was buying for his business, but still, the hoarding that went on here was reprehensible.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is not true… I can guarantee that those prices are most definitely incorrect! Fosters have done so much in this short time to accomodate customers and staff, everyone should stop picking on little things and come together and see the bigger picture to all this.. Yea prices may have gone up a dollar or two but not as exorbitant as you claim it to be and most often it would be because of the demand of the product that the suppliers have increased their prices which obviously impacts the retail value like it would do at any other time of the year.

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      • Anon says:

        10.42 A day before the lockdown I bought a box of 100 single use latex gloves at Kirk Market pharmacy for $15.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would expect not. Unless the World sees some indication of a decline in new infections and each affected country relaxes its incoming travel restrictions these repatriations will not happen period.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Alden caused three panic, by his determination to put our country in to its worst financial position since the gross overspending of a previous government in advance of a predicted recession, a government led by….

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  10. Anonymous says:

    What about the families that currently sitting in their homes hungry because the couldn’t afford to buy food for the lockdown? What about rent and other utilities?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    people keep blaming the business community…if they asked for exemptions all alden had to do was say no and tell the police to enforce the laws….
    as usual cig has taken the easy way out by imposing a curfew that is not seen anywhere else in the world. cayman is doomed with this type of leadership…..and be private sector better be prepared for huge increases in indirect taxation when cig discovers it has no money

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    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the world has curfews. Stop acting so spoilt and special, Princess. The body we bury may just be yours – or does that not sink in??

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    • Anonymous says:

      Once the 58 hours curfew ends it is a given that it will lead to more panic buying at the super markets. Would it not make good sense for the super markets be opened on Sunday to ease the human nature to panic buy? It sure worked during Ivan.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Or better yet, send an email with your list of what you need. Someone who works there will gather all your items, call you with the cost, pay by phone, pick up at scheduled time. None of this bs where everyone is clumped together in lines! No amount of curfews will ease that stupidity.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Great idea. Email Woody and tell him. Never know he might go for it.

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          • Anonymous says:

            Even better, unemployed taxi drivers can be paid to deliver with all appropriate protections.

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            • Anonymous says:

              They should do something to earn the free money they are getting!

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            • Anonymous says:

              Oh yeah. Won’t someone please think of the poor taxi drivers!

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            • Anonymous says:

              Please these taxi drivers are not the ones that need the money. Some of them make over $500 a day……in one day. So do the math and let me ask why do they need that $600? Taxi drivers make more annually what some of us make, they don’t need the assistance. They should be helping their fellow tourism buddies who make less than minimum wage.

              That money should have been added to the students and those in need of assistance.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah they have dozens of staff sitting around idle waiting to pack your box!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Foster’s already announced Sunday hours.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This curfew is about Caymanians not taking this seriously, not seeing the threat.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must be living under a rock. Don’t you even try to follow what is happening around the world right now? Thousands dying and the medical community overwhelmed with demands and shortages of every description that they need to help the dying. And you sit there and bitch about a curfew that will probably save a few lives at the end. Sit down, shut up and pray to God it works for us.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Will the Chamber support sending non essential staff to their home countries?

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    • Anon says:

      How would they get to their home countries?

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    • Anonymous says:

      will cig?

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    • Anonymous says:

      How exactly? When exactly?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did the non essential staff save their money for a rainy day or did their work permit get approved with a clause that states we have too send them home at our expense? You socialist liberal idiot!

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are really that clueless? Do you not realise, while sitting in your posh gated community drinking Champagne, that more than half of the people residing on this island are living paycheque to paycheque? They are the one who serve you food, sell you your fancy wine and clean your toilets. And now you want to ridicule them because they didn’t save for an unprecedented (at least for the past century) event – you immoral, capitalist, twat!

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      • Anonymous says:

        How much do you pay your expat helper? Thought so. STFU

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      • Anonymous says:

        actually their work permit was approved with the requirement that a repatriation fee be lodged with CIG. But government just decided to treat it as revenue – just like the deposits on tires. So put that in your morally self righteous pipe and smoke it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Self righteous much?

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    • madfrogbox says:

      Give it a rest already

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      • Anonymous says:

        Why, you willing to pay for all the consequences of thousands of unemployed foreign nationals stuck here? Many of them want to get home with what little savings they have intact. Why not help them?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Because their greedy/exploitive Caymanian employers had plenty of time and warning, but were too busy wringing every droplet of labour out of them. Their wellness is their responsibility now, not CIG, or me. Labour Law is still in effect. If they are interested in a one-way ticket, they should organize and file for legal aid to sue their respective employers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And watch cayman rentals drop even further? Sure go ahead.

      Caymanians are landlords too you know. Less expats = lower rental fees. Do the math

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      • Anonymous says:

        An expat (or any person) with no money and no source of income ain’t payin the rent any which way you cut it. You ready to deal with hundreds of squatters, or might it be better to simply help people get home?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Wow. You’re seriously worried about your rental income? The sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

    • Anonymous says:

      How? Do you know a way of getting them off the island? What a stupid question!

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