Online poll: Sunday trading up to market

A large majority of readers believe that the free market ought to decide whether to trade on a Sunday. 

Of 588 respondents to the latest poll in the Caymanian Compass, 369, or 62.8 percent, selected the option, “Let the free market decide. If a store owner wants to do business on a Sunday, why shouldn’t he?” 

The second largest number of respondents, 92 (15.6 percent) agreed there should be limited opening hours on Sunday, like on public holidays. 

All businesses should close on the Lord’s Day, said 72 people, or 12.2 percent, and the remaining 55 respondents, 9.4 percent, felt that, “The same rule should apply to all. Either all businesses should close on Sunday or all should be allowed to be open.” 

One person who was in favor of Sunday opening, said, “I think it should be up to the store owners if they want to open on Sundays. As far as the churches, people who want to go to church will still go – no bearing on stores being open or not. We live in a different world than we did 20-30 years ago. With both people working in a family or single households, this would be the ideal time.” 

Another respondent pointed to what the writer felt was an inconsistency in the current system. 

“Caymanian Christians buy gas on Sunday and eat at restaurants on Sunday, so why is it illegal to shop for groceries or clothing on Sunday? No one is forcing you to shop on Sunday,” pointed out the poll participant. 

Another individual who was in favor of market forces leading the way spoke of the oft-cited multitude of nationalities living here. 

“This is the 21st century and Cayman is a diverse community of many faiths and provided that freedom to worship and practice your faith is protected, then I see no reason why any particular day should have special protection over another day,” began the reader. “If there is no business for Sunday traders, then these affected will simply cease to open on those days.” 

Another person agreed with that point, and broadened the focus to include multiple religious observances. 

“We are all expected to respect Sunday as the “day of rest “ but what about other cultures or even another religion that respects Saturday as their “day of rest? Why aren’t they given the same opportunity to choose to open their business on a Saturday (for example). We should be able to respect each other’s views, even if we do not believe in them.” 

Opening for limited hours, as is currently the case on public holidays, also drew some interesting comments. Perhaps the most succinct came from someone who had looked at the discrepancy between different industries operating on island. 

“Considering nothing stops the audit and accounting firms from expecting staff to work weekends, including Sundays, it would be amazing if the stores were open on a Sunday considering the long hours worked during the busy season,” pointed out the contributor. 

There were also people in favor of the status quo. 

“Cayman’s work force is a very stressful environment,” began one person who said that all businesses should close on Sundays. 

“Many people are getting serious illness because of stress, trying not to lose their job. Also, we need to have more family time. Why do you think our children are going downhill? People who work in supermarkets are low income families. Stop thinking about money but lives. God is very wise. He knew why he said rest on the seventh day.” 

Another person agreed with the day of rest as an idea. 

“Whether you consider it the “Lord’’s Day” or not, the community benefits from having a day that is restful and free from the hustle and bustle, not just individually, but communally,” posited the reader. “It’s not a religious issue.” 

Next week’s poll question:  

What can be done to help boost Cayman Brac’s failing economy? 

  • Put on more direct flights. 
  • Promote it as an eco-tourism destination. 
  • Outsource more government and administrative work from Grand Cayman to the Brac. 
  • Build a cruise ship port there. 
  • Other (explain) 

To participate, visit caycompass.com. 

Online-Poll-S