Yacht charter company, Sunsail, has sent home half of its staff in St. Vincent and reduced the number of its dock spaces to 10 — down from 50.
“It is not a closure; it’s downsizing,” Simon Carey, general manager of Sunsail told I-Witness News on Tuesday.
“That’s not true,” he said of reports that Sunsail is moving its operations to St. Lucia.
“We want to keep our feet in the Grenadines, … will be a small reception area and 10 dock spaces,” he said.
Before the downsizing took effect on Friday, Sunsail also had a fuel service, two bars, a sail loft, and a minimart.
Carey said downsizing is “a business decision, meaning that the business is not coming in like we want it to.
“It is hard to get to St. Vincent,” he said.
He said the company’s operation “is not going to change at all.
“What’s going to change is the collateral stuff that is around the operation.
“From now, what I’ll do is I’ll write a cheque for the fuel I use; I’ll write a cheque for the slips I use. It is basically the business is going to be set up just like Canouan, St. Lucia and Grenada — small reception and some dock spaces; that’s it.
The nine employees who were sent home on Friday were well taken care of, Carey said.
“They have basically been laid off with full redundancy. This company has been incredibly generous,” he said of the firm that has been operating here since 1997.
Carey said he hopes business will improve with the completion of the Argyle international airport, scheduled for next year.
“You have to understand, this is the destination. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the destination, so people fly into St. Lucia and Grenada and they come here.”
“Sunsail wants to keep its feet in the Grenadines. The destination is the Grenadines. It is not anywhere else in the Windwards, but the Grenadines. You hear about the Caribbean, you hear about the Tobago Cays. That’s where people go,” he further stated.