On Christmas Eve, 7News sampled public opinion on how the holidays were going. As you may have seen, many of the interviewees weren't particularly excited about the holiday because finance was low.
And so what did businesses think? Well today, we went around to different business houses to ask them how the Christmas sales went. Again, we found out that the business community is facing a lot of challenges. Here's what a few owners told us:
Shadheed Haulze, part time employee - A & R
"I think that they were going to keep me here fulltime but business went bad, nothing is going on in the spot. People are not buying like one time. Look when the Mayor of Belize City choose to fix the streets when Christmas time, business went bad. I think that were going to keep me fulltime."
Keith Slater - Managing Director - Unicomer
"We had a very good Christmas to be honest with you. There were the usual challenges; late arrivals, some weather challenges around the country and here in Belize City we've had the challenge of the road being closed on the opposite side which has an impact on us but we had a pretty good Christmas, lots of customers coming in and I would say we are up from last year's figures. We have a lot of loyal customers that come back time and time again. We try to keep it exciting; this year we got a brand new D-Max car that we've got from Bravo Motors and this has created a lot of excitement at the Courts branches and that help to boost sales as well."
"There are a lot of people going through a lot of hardships out there. Again without sort of credit facilities - that helps people that are struggling. Courts and Tropigas are companies that always appeal to the working men and women, so I believe that they've definitely help people get through the harder times and things are going very well. We have a brand new store in Belmopan which things are going very well and as there are new things on the horizon for the company this year."
Umesh Mahitani - Manager - Mikado's Textile Palace
"I think we had a decent year. Maybe one of the things that we have not been seeing lately is out district customers coming in. Lot of the customers have been calling us from our district are afraid to come to town, that is kind of one of the downsides to sales these
days. Its well-known that crime has affected downtown sales, everybody can tell you that people are afraid of coming to town. People that lives close by are afraid to come out at night anyway so you can't expect people from out district want to come to town. All you hear in and out Belize City is crime - people are terrified actually to come to town."
Jose Luis Mena - GM, Espat's Store, Downtown Plaza
"Sales here was good because we treat the people good, we give good offers to people, so they spend good money. The police are doing a good job because during the day and night they come in the store and ask if we have any problem - everything is okay."
The General consensus of all the business places we approached, but who declined comment, was that this year's sales figures were down.