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Sep 15, 2022

Inflated Cost of Goods Stifling Food Vendors

The price per gallon of liquefied petroleum gas (L.P.G.) has decreased by five cents. The Government of Belize announced the new fixed price for L.P.G. on Wednesday. The price now stands at six dollars and six cents per gallon retail. While the decrease is welcomed news, is it enough to offset the increasing cost of the other goods that food vendors across the country purchase on a daily basis? That is what News Five’s Paul Lopez sought to find out when he visited a couple food vendors at the food square next to the Belmopan Fire Station. Here is what he found out about the cost of running a food joint in these times.

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

How are food vendors coping with the cost of doing business at this time?

 

Josephina Jimenez

Josephina Jimenez, Sylvia Fast Food

“Well our business is feeling it yes, because everything is expensive.”

 

Today, we visited two food vendors in the City of Belmopan. The first stop was at Silvia’s Fast Food where customers go to purchase food at affordable prices.

 

Paul Lopez

“Is it benefiting you, the cost of butane right now that it is going down a little bit?”

 

Josephina Jimenez

“I don’t think it is, because everything is expensive. Everything is going high.”

 

Paul Lopez

“Tell us about your experience at the grocery store. How often do you go to the grocery store?”

 

Josephina Jimenez

“Every day, everything goes up high. Every day the price change, especially at the Chinese stores.”

 

Paul Lopez

“What are some of the main things you buy?”

Josephina Jimenez

“Well, the Dutch cheese, the foil, the plates, the no good plates. And the rice, all the butter, everything went up for us all.”

 

Jimenez says her customers often times complain when she announces a price increase. While she tries to accommodate them by offering discounts, her business stands to operate at a loss.

 

Paul Lopez

“What would you like to see happen?”

 

Josephina Jimenez

“Guh down, because we the poor are suffering. We the struggle. I nuh the think only bout me, but everybody, the poor. As well my employees, because some days we give them off, because we don’t meet the bills. So, we feel it.”

 

Paul Lopez

“Do you have people come and say, you should lower your price a little bit? What do you tell them?”

 

Josephina Jimenez

“We can’t, we can’t. Sometimes we give them a little, a dollar discount, where they can’t pay it, we give them a dollar discount.”

 

From fast food to authentic Indian cuisine, we visited the Everest Indian Restaurant where owner and chef Raj Karki invited us inside his kitchen for the full culinary experience.

 

Paul Lopez

“How long has your business been here?”

 

Raj Karki

Raj Karki, Owner, Everest Indian Restaurant

“Actually, my business established from end of 2013 since I am here.”

 

Paul Lopez

“What is it like doing business at this location?”

 

Raj Karki

“When I start time it was really slow, then it gone up, now after COVID, slow not like that time. But, I use to do good. Very good business at that time, now it is kind of slowly.”

 

Raj and his wife prepare all authentic Indian dishes, like the delectable chicken masala he prepared for us using fresh herbs and spices, some imported from his home country, or the masala chai tea that he greets most of his customers with.

Paul Lopez

“You have a variety of items. How is the cost of these items and the increase in the cost of these items impacted your business?”

 

Raj Karki

“Actually, I have a menu here. This is imported, the stuff like the spice leaves. I buy from here meat, vegetables, water I get it from here, milk, and regular salt. Apart from those things, I get it from India. Obviously I’m in this kind of ugh cost is high, then compared with the local foods. Plus, business here is slow because of the location. So, very small number of guest visits here.”

 

Paul Lopez

“Why do you continue to do the business even with the high cost of goods? What is the passion behind it?”

 

Raj Karki

“I am actually a very passionate person. I think tomorrow it will bloom. It will be something, an opportunity will come, a lot of people will come here. So, I am here in hope. So, life is kind of going slowly but in a nice way.”

 

Like Josephina Jimenez and Raj Karki, we received similar feedback from business owners within this area that did not want to appear on camera. While there have been a decrease in the cost of butane, the increased cost of certain ingredients have left many businesses barely making ends meet. Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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