Charlotte Street Businessman on the Chinatown project
Speaking anonymously in an interview with 868 Media a Charlotte Street businessman and member of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association DOMA said Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez is over his head about the entire Chinatown project.
“He is not sure what is happening, he is not a businessman from Charlotte street and therefore he has not had the experiences we businessmen have had.”Said the business owner.
The business owner also questioned whether some hidden agenda was behind the Chinatown project citing that Martinez made several trips to China prior to announcing the project.
When asked whether or not they think Chinatown will affect business on Charlotte Street the businessman said they were sure of it since the Chinese will be coming with their goods, creating new competition. They also mentioned that the street will eventually become associated only with Chinese goods and thus stifle the sale of other products.
Their intention is to try and have more Chinese restaurants on Charlotte Street and this will affect other types of businesses since people will think that Charlotte Street is a place to buy Chinese food or other small items.Said the businessman.
Comments were also made by the businessman regarding the fact that the public was only consulted after the project was already made official.
They are some banners made out of steel and wood that will be put at the bottom and top of Charlotte Street. These things were built and have been ready long before we had any consultations.Said the businessman.
The businessman expressed concern that the government and the mayor have been having consultations with the Chinese government long before the people of Trinidad.
Charlotte Street is the most popular street for shopping thats why it attracted all these vendors and why it has gotten the attention even of the Chinese government. Its all because of business.The businessman said.
The businessman said the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) had several meetings with Martinez where among other things the association tried to recommend the removal of illegal vendors which contribute to the street’s poor condition.
868 Media is currently awaiting the response of Martinez in relation to the above statements.