Today’s Editorial December 13: Support area merchants

For some on fixed incomes this won’t be a merry Christmas.

The reason: the high cost of living in the Cayman Islands.

Yes, gas prices are going back down, slowly, but housing cost has gone up for many and power bills have become astronomical for more than a few people.

Prices for some grocery items have also increased from last year to this.

A pound of a certain kind of cheese at one supermarket was $8.99 this time last year. Today it’s $19.99 a pound.

We understand that sometimes prices have been increased.

We know that we are on an island and just about everything we consume has to be imported.

With that comes shipping costs and duty. Store owners have overhead and must be able to pay their workers a fair wage.

Add to that the mandated insurance and pension costs employers must pay and it is no surprise to any of us that extra charges must be put on that pound of cheese.

But doubling the price in a year?

While the pound of cheese is a luxury item, it still proves a point.

Prices on many things have gotten so high that many people won’t be able to afford the day-to-day staples of life, much less the luxury items.

Retailers are urged to continue to make a profit, but not at the expense of the average man.

Many on fixed incomes – especially the elderly – shouldn’t have to choose between a loaf of bread or a light burning at night.

Some people have taken the attitude that they aren’t going to support local retailers and turn instead to the Internet or overseas to do major shopping, especially Christmas shopping.

Our retailers shouldn’t be boycotted.

They should be supported.

If we all kept our spending cash in the Cayman Islands it’s a pretty safe bet that prices would come down.

Support your local merchant this Christmas shopping season.

Help bring prices down so that everyone can have a merry Christmas.

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