Trinidad and Tobago - Domestic trade
Trinidad and Tobago's wholesale trade is highly organized and highly competitive; much of it is controlled by a few managing agencies located in Port-of-Spain. These agencies are direct importers in bulk and have exclusive wholesale rights for sales in the islands, and often in other Caribbean nations and territories.
In small communities, in rural areas, on Tobago, and in less developed parts of Port-of-Spain and San Fernando, the general retail store carries a wide variety of commodities. Many of these stores are family enterprises and most are small. Local and foreign franchises are fairly common, particularly in the fast food industry. Price controls have been placed on sugar, schoolbooks and pharmaceuticals. A value-added tax of 15% applies to most goods and services.
Business hours are generally from 8 AM to 4 PM , Monday through Friday, with a lunch break from noon to 1 PM . Shops are often open from 8 AM to 4 PM , except on Fridays (6 PM ) and Saturdays (noon). Banks stay open from 8 AM to 2 PM , Monday through Thursday, and from 8 AM to 1 PM and from 3 PM to 5 PM each Friday.