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Local retailers and distributors take a firm stand against price gouging during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Local retailers and distributors take a firm stand against price gouging during the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 20, 2020

Members of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) have pledged to maintain food and commodity prices at stable levels as COVID-19 continues to impact economies around the world.

At an urgent meeting of major retailers and distributors convened recently at the Chamber’s offices on Dalkeith Hill, St Michael, members from across the group unanimously agreed to pledge support for a clear declaration that price gouging, that is, taking advantage of increased demand to increase prices of goods and services in the current crisis, will not be practiced nor tolerated.

“We do not subscribe to price-gouging. We will maintain our regular mark-ups,” the retailers and distributors from all the leading companies agreed.

Their commitment was met with an assurance from Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland, who addressed the meeting, that Government would work with the local business community to maintain a pricing regime that allows for a stable structure. He encouraged the BCCI members to use their contacts and relationships with suppliers to extract any goodwill.

“This is a worldwide health emergency, but Government cannot absorb all the shock alone. We have to approach this as a team to address the impact of COVID-19 on the business sector. Government is prepared to walk with you. We will continue to engage with the Chamber on this matter,” Minister Sutherland said.

BCCI President Trisha Tannis reaffirmed the Chamber’s commitment to promoting integrity in its membership throughout the crisis as it continues to unfold.

The commitment was signed by all the major players in the local retail and distribution group which continues to meet with Government and other stakeholders to address the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses, staff and delivery of service to customers who continue to depend on access to a large category of goods.

March 20, 2020

For further information, please contact Mrs. Misha Lobban-Clarke, Executive Director BCCI at m.lobbanclarke@barbadoschamber.com; or by calling 231 5516.