Businesses suffer immensely from load shedding

POSTED: 07/18/16 5:37 PM

St. Maarten News —Local businesses have been complaining of the constant loss of business which is due to the load shedding by the energy company GEBE. The business owners and residents we spoke to, did so under the condition of anonymity. “People are not even venturing to come to Philipsburg because of the blackouts that the communities have been experiencing over the last few weeks,” one business owner told Today.

Another entrepreneur commented that in the recent days of the load shedding, the island utility company has not been forthcoming with reports as to the reason for the recent blackouts. Another business person said the power outage is forcing small businesses and medium businesses to purchase generators which is increasing the cost of business on the island. In the past we have heard that “a rat has caused the blackouts” which sometimes created the blackout for several hours.

It’s not only business people who are complaining about the outages. Some residents have complained about that a few days ago. There was power outage four times in one day, which have disrupted their daily operations. A resident of LB Scott Road said that she has lost not only her computer but also her microwave oven and her washing machine that have been damaged by the outage. “When this happens the island utility company does not want to replace your equipment,” she said. “Even if you attempt to write them about your lost they are not willing to replace your equipment. It may take months before you even get an answer from them. This is not to mention the run around that you experience when you write to them,” she added.

The newspaper understands the utility company is busy with repairs to several components of their generators which has resulted in the constant blackouts on the island.

Meanwhile a resident Binkie van Es, wrote a letter to the editor earlier in the day, urging persons to join a protest march from in front GEBE to the government building if the authorities cannot provide answers to the frequent power outages. He later retracted the call on his Facebook page when power appeared to be stable for most of the day Tuesday, saying GEBE was “behaving good.”

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