Categorized | National News

Businesses Lament Outages

Power outages in New Providence have become extremely taxing on a number of businesses who complain of large losses in revenue as a result.

Despite the recent assurance by Bahamas Power and Light CEO, Pamela Hill, that the company is doing all in its power to resolve the constant outages, several small business owners told the Bahama Journal yesterday, that they do not expect the circumstances to change any time soon.

Proprietor of the 66-year-old business, Wilson’s Shoe Repairs, said he has lost revenue in the last few weeks as a result of the power deficiencies.

“I expect power cuts in the summer but I don’t expect it to be for three to four hours. We don’t just get it once a week. We get it like two, three, four times per week. I’ve lost money. I’ve lost a couple hundred dollars this week through the power company and I have to pay them at the end of the month,” said Mr. Wilson.

Opting to remain anonymous, owner of a local restaurant spoke of the adverse affects the power cuts have had on his business.

“Usually, with a small business you don’t always have the ability to back up everything on surge protectors and even when you do, it blows the surge protectors,” he said.

“In the business that we run personally, we had our freezers blow when we had outages. During the weekends when we’re closed and you meet a whole freezer blown, that is products and supplies wasted,” he continued.

“You have to reimburse and you have to count as a loss in most cases. If you extend it on to the customer, then you eventually kill out your business. These are bad times and everyone is struggling. So to go up on prices in a bad time, the economy is going to be rough on a business owner,” the owner added.

Meanwhile, when asked if at any point throughout the dilemma if they have gotten any mercy or even expect any form of compensation from BPL, a businessman, who also opted to remain anonymous lamented high electricity costs.

“I know there are not going to be any breaks from BPL. They will come in and try to clean up the process and get people to try and pay their bills. It’s mostly being politically influenced so therefore they’re going to try and clean up the structure. That’s all they’re doing. So as far as breaks, that’s all they’re doing. Gas prices went down, but electricity bills still going up,” he said.

“We’re going to stay open, but we will have to fight, but usually that requires you to cut staff, cut the resources, and it makes people work harder to stretch out your financial issues. Because at the end of the day you still pay BPL, but 90 per cent of the time, your current off,” he said.

BPL said that when power cuts are experienced for a half an hour or less, it is usually due to “an issue that can be fixed quickly”.

Meantime, those outages that last for a longer period of time, it usually means that equipment is in a state of disrepair, and requiring resources that may not be available.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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