Representative of the Ninth Electoral District Dr Hubert O’Neal has tried to explain the reason some businesses are being closed as the BVI Investment Club start to develop the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour.
He said Buck’s Supermarket has been closed and two restaurants are also facing closure at the harbour.
Regarding Buck’s, Dr O’Neal last evening told residents at a public meeting on Virgin Gorda that the operator of the supermarket opted to vacate the premises after he was told to pay more for rent.
“Buck’s himself has vacated that spot. I know there will be questions as to why he has left there. I will tell you what I know. I know that he was occupying that area for a lot of years, and the square footage that he was occupying amounted to a certain amount. Over the years, he had expanded his store. So he had been occupying more and more space over the years. But he wasn’t charged the appropriate rent.”
“So, when he was approached to do a new lease for the space – it included the new space he was occupying before, plus that additional space that he was using – the decision was made by Buck himself that he didn’t think that he could afford that additional rent that was being charged for that space. He made a business decision to move from the space and just to concentrate his business on the wholesale centre at the southern end of the island,” Dr O’Neal explained.
A resident of Virgin Gorda openly criticized members of the BVI Investment Club over their handling of the situation involving the operators of Buck’s Supermarket.
“We have heard the rumours about Buck’s and the others moving or being put out. Those people have been there for donkey years. They helped bring that marina to what it is today… To issue Buck with a new lease for an increased rate to pay up or get out – good for Buck, he said I will get out. That is ridiculous. That’s how people treat one another? That is not how people treat one another on Virgin Gorda,” the female resident said during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Dr O’Neal stated that he did not know details of the circumstances under which two restaurants at the location were also being closed.
“Rose’s restaurant too; both restaurants – the one on the inside and the one on the outside; Rose’s has been asked to move as well. I cannot honestly say I have details about that,” Dr O’Neal said.