September 19, 2020

Spirits down as hours extensions rejected

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The owners of three liquor stores in Cayman say their business is in a perilous state after an application to extend their opening hours was rejected.

 

Reflections Liquor 4 Less has three outlets in George Town that currently stay open until 7pm.

 

Brothers Prentice and Stanley Panton applied to the Licensing Committee to extend their operational hours until 10pm.

 

But their plea was rejected – along with similar extension requests from other bars and clubs.

 

After the decision the Pantons say they plan to appeal to the very top and will contact Premier McKeeva Bush in a bid to change the outcome.

 

Prentice Panton said: “We feel that all the applications that were made for extensions should be granted. We are 100% Caymanian owned business.

 

“The granting of extended hours increases the possibility that more businesses will employ more people, as they cannot have the same employees work multiple hours.

 

“Employers will have to employ additional staff. There is no justification in saying that extending our hours, from 9am to 10pm, will allow for more crime. Stores get robbed both in the day
and night.”

 

His brother Stanley added: “These decisions are hindering our ability to come up with strategies to survive.

 

“We pay millions of dollars in custom duties and yet our own economic survival is at the brink of extinction.

 

“Is the country going to be better off if the business people close their doors? We are in a perilous state.”

The major reasons outlined by the proprietors for requesting amendments to their licenses were, a decline in the economy and escalating crime.

 

A downturn in cruise ship arrivals and reduction in tourism took the brunt of the blame for struggling businesses.

 

Some applicants argued that unless they diversify their business, they might not be able to counteract the effects of crime.

 

Applications/amendments applied for included:

  • Permission to sell liquor before or after hours previously dictated by conditions of license
  • Permission to make alterations to licensed premises
  • The removal of Duty Free restrictions on a Package Liquor License
  • Permission to include a beer garden and park as a part of licensed premises
  • Change of the location of a Distributor of Liquor License
  • Retail Liquor License
  • Renewal and/or transfer
    of Licenses
  • Granting of Music and Dancing License, and Hotel Liquor license.
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