Small Business Minister, Dwight Sutherland speaking to the media following his tour of Trimart, Mile-And-A-Quarter, St. Peter today. To his left is Operations Manager of Trimart Supermarkets, Peter Chase and to the right is Chairman, Tony Catlyn. (GP)

Employment levels maintained by Trimart and Channell supermarkets and the contribution they recently made to the health-care system during this COVID-19 crisis have not gone unnoticed by Government.

Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, conveyed this message today to chairman of these establishments, Tony Catlyn. Mr. Sutherland was speaking at the end of his tour of Trimart, Mile-And-A-Quarter, St. Peter.

“These five supermarkets account for 400 employees, and at no time of the crisis were any of the employees laid off or sent home. That speaks to employment generation during a very tough time of the crisis. Yes, we had our supermarkets opened; we had at least 10 days when we closed the supermarkets, but Mr. Catlyn maintained employment among his 400 employees,” he said.

The four other supermarkets are Trimart Supermarket, at Rendezvous, Christ Church, and St. Martins, St. Philip, as well as Channell, Collymore Rock and Black Rock, both in St. Michael.

Mr. Sutherland also acknowledged the supermarket chain went further, allowing its employees to be “used by the Ministry of Health as volunteer testers for COVID-19”. 

Explaining, he said: “They utilized some of his employees at the Collymore Rock branch and the Black Rock branch. So, I want to thank him for supporting the Government’s initiative, for coming forward as a very valuable retailer in ensuring that not only did he put food and have four or five months’ supply of stock, but he assisted the Government in ensuring that we could have good commerce in a crisis with persons adhering to all the health protocols; he had no cases of COVID-19 among his employees.”

The Minister expressed his gratitude not only to the supermarkets’ management but also its staff for volunteering and partnering with the Ministry of Health, with respect to the testing regime they went through.

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