Saint Kitts Chicken Business Losing Money

Friday March 23 2007
Saint Kitts Sun

One restaurateur is complaining that ICC Cricket World Cup has adversely affected her business causing her to lose thousands of dollars on her investment.

Proprietor of Chicken Hut, Althea White, told the SUN she has had nothing but hardship since the World Cup started last week Wednesday.

Chicken Hut is the only business located in the security area surrounding Warner Park and because of stringent security measures, cordoning off the streets leading to Warner Park and blocking vehicular traffic.  White said her business has suffered a major blow, especially on match days.

White, whose restaurant is located directly opposite the walls of the Warner Park Stadium estimates that she has lost close to EC $10,000 because of the World Cup.

“On the first day, there were foreign police posted at each point and when people told them they want to go to Chicken Hut, they told them they don’t have a pass so they were turned back and as a result of that, I lost business that day. When I consulted a police inspector on the matter, he said they forgot to put the barricade in the road to partition off the area because they were so busy and they forgot to put a local police with the foreign police, so that’s the reason everything went haywire that day,” White said.White said on the second day, she was not allowed to go to her place of business because she was carrying the wrong pass, which was issued to her by the authorities.

“So I had to go around in College Street Ghaut, head my things to the Methodist Church, leave them with somebody who I don’t know, go up the road and park my car, come back down and head my things from the Methodist Church to the restaurant. Then on the Friday, I parked my car up by Dr. Claxton’s office, walked through the alley, come down the road, put off my things and by the time I went back to my car, it was gone.

“I called a police Inspector who told me that my car was at the Fire Station, so I had to walk all the way from the Chicken Hut to get my car, they then told me that I had to go to the Traffic Department and I was told that I have to pay EC $250 (EC $100 for the ticket and EC $150 for the towing fee), although I explained to them that I did not get a correct pass in the first place, so I had to park somewhere to get to my business. I was told that if I refuse to pay it within ten days, I would have to pay $13,000. I don’t think I was treated fairly. As a result of that, I lost business again on Friday?” White lamented.

White was confused as to why other vehicles were allowed to park in areas where she was not permitted to.

“I was very irate because I’m wondering why me, a business-woman, must be persecuted when these people deliberately left their vehicles and gone and no police did anything. I called the police?and they camee, so the police are not doing what they are supposed to do. They are jumping on the wrong set of people.”

White stated frankly that she makes more money when school is in session and that her preparing for the World Cup was not worth the while.

“During school time, the school children are the ones who patronise my business. When I heard about World Cup, I went and stacked up, thinking I would get more business?But because people could not come to my restaurant, I had to throw away chicken and other food stuff that I had prepared.

“I did not benefit from World Cup as a small business”¦I did not open on Sunday because I did not have a pass and I did not want to get into any trouble with the police. Monday I went to a police, I filed my complaint.

“My business is the only one in the heart of the security zone and I think somebody from the local organising committee (LOC) should have informed me and let me know what was going on. I was ignorant to what was going on?.” stated an angry White.

White said while her restaurant was struggling to make money on match days other businesses located close by, but which are not located in the security zone, were teeming with customers.

The Chicken Hut was opened in late December.

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