Good for business

tropical storm leslie stimulates sections of bermuda economy

HAMILTON — No matter what path Hurricane Leslie takes, it will have done its part to stimulate the economy.

Hardware stores, landscapers, gas stations and other retailers all saw an uptick in sales throughout the week.

Zane De Silva, CEO of Island Construction, said: “There are several businesses that look forward to hurricanes and have the same mindset, ‘We don’t want any harm come to anyone or any extra damage done to any homes,’ but people do tend to stock up on more food, stock up on more batteries, and it does drive sales.

“From our standpoint, our plywood sales were certainly heavy yesterday. We do get more calls for our landscaping division for people seeking assistance in cutting trees back or to have guys come over and board up their windows.

“People have generators and want our mechanics to come by and give them quick check over so it does generate some business.”

He said Island Construction has also seen an upswing in sales for sand bags and aggregate to fill the bags.

“This does stimulate (the economy).

“There’s an old saying that “There’s never an ill wind that doesn’t blow in someone’s favour.'”

Cynthia Wright, marketing manager for Bermuda Gas, said there has been a surge in propane sales as residents want to ensure there’s enough gas for their barbecues.

“People are, obviously, thinking about grilling. We’re considering what our hours will be on Saturday as there may be people who decide they don’t have a barbecue in functioning order.

“Our intention is not in selling things but providing a service at this stage to make sure people have what they need.”

Colonial Insurance was open late on Wednesday and Thursday so people could update their home and auto policies in advance of Hurricane Leslie.

Gorham’s general manager Andrew Mackay told the Bermuda Sun on Tuesday the store had seen far more customers through its doors than would be expected.

He added: “It’s already started – people are just getting into the hurricane mode.”

Mackay said that batteries, propane and butane gas and battery-operated fans were all selling briskly at the Pembroke store.

Brisk sales

And he predicted: “As Leslie gets closer, we will get more and more interest. It’s definitely getting busier, no doubt about that.”

Digicel had seen an increase in people topping up their phones, but the company was also doing its part to make sure its service doesn’t go down.

The company said it has activated its Hurricane Preparedness Plan, which seeks to protect the interests of its customers, staff and dealers.

Wayne Caines, CEO, Digicel Bermuda, said: “It’s all about ensuring our customers can stay connected to family and friends. We take that responsibility very seriously. As such, we have generators installed in the vast majority of our cell sites across the island and ample fuel supplies to meet our requirements.” (Bermuda Sun)

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