THE Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) yesterday issued a statement questioning whether the wrecker was being used to force consumers to shop outside of Port of Spain. Christmas business, it said, was being badly affected.
DOMA said, "Those witnessing the sight of four, five or six wreckers moving en-masse on the streets of downtown are unfortunately tempted to infer that some other scheme is at work and the growing speculation about the desire to hurt Port of Spain can easily be understood.
While we continue to discourage the type of divisive conjecture that plagues our national landscape, we wish to respectfully appeal to the wisdom of the authorities since a mounting number of citizens, walking the streets of Port of Spain are saying openly, "whoever is doing this knows that they are hurting Port of Spain...they must be trying to force people to shop outside of Port of Spain,"the statement said.
DOMA added, "Members of this Association, some of whom have been doing business in the city of Port of Spain for more than 60 years and some of whom were recently honoured for surviving for 50 years in the city are unanimous in the view that they have never before seen such a brutal assault on downtown shoppers and particularly, never before has Christmas business been so badly affected in such a short space of time."
The Association said it was on record as saying that it wanted to find a compromise with those who are earning upwards of $75/90,000 a day in wrecking fees. "We have written letters recommending measures that meet the objectives of the authorities, while at the same time giving some opportunities for shoppers to visit the downtown city centre."