Editorial for March 1: Tip of Cayman’s economic woes

It’s a shame that the Hew’s family had to close two of its MacDonald’s restaurants this past weekend.

Unfortunately, though, it is a sign of the times.

The economy in the Cayman Islands is in the doldrums.

We are sure the Hew’s family did much soul searching before making the decision to close the eateries at Countryside Village in Savannah and in the Industrial Park in George Town.

The original MacDonald’s next to the Office off Shedden Road in downtown George Town will remain open.

Fortunately the Hew’s family has a group of businesses that were able to absorb some of the employees who would have been displaced by the closure of the two restaurants.

But what’s going to happen to the employees of other businesses that find themselves in financial straits, unable to remain open and keep workers gainfully employed; business owners that don’t have a family group of businesses to fall back on?

The Caymanian Compass reported last week that there is continued pressure on food prices worldwide; a pressure that each of us feels every time we go the supermarket.

Add to that the ever-increasing cost of fuel – the price of a barrel of crude was hovering around $98 Monday – and we can expect the cost of living in the Cayman Islands to continue to increase.

At some point some of the smaller businesses in our country will find it financially difficult to eke out a living here and we will see some, like the two MacDonald’s restaurants, closing shop.

While it does cost more to live in the Cayman Islands, we do need to support our local retailers as much as possible and keep our buying dollars on our shores.

If we don’t support our businesses in Cayman, more people will lose their jobs, which means there will be fewer people buying goods and services and we’ll find ourselves in a vicious economic spiral where no one is the winner.