EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

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Acting Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Patrick Todd speaking with City vendors during his tour

Government is committed to improving the plight of vendors in Bridgetown; however, operators have been warned that, in plying their trade, they must abide by the law.

Word of this  has come from the acting Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Patrick Todd, following  a tour of a number of vending sites in the city last  Wednesday, June 4.

Mr. Todd, who heard the concerns of both vendors and owners of retail establishments, emphasised that law and order must prevail.

“The Government is not promoting chaos. Vendors must cooperate with the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) and other government agencies because illegal vending will not be tolerated,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Property Manager of a well-known establishment along Bridge Street charged that vendors operating there impeded access to his supermarket, to the extent where business had declined. He added that this also affected the flow of pedestrian traffic causing major congestion.

In response, representatives of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN)  stressed that attempts to increase their trade was the reason behind the incidence of illegal vending , since they failed  to maximise on market share at alternative locations.

Minister Todd, who was accompanied by officials from the Ministries of Agriculture and International Transport, BARVEN and members of the Royal Barbados Police Force explained that the tour was “essential to ensure that commerce thrived to the advantage of all concerned”.

Following the hour-long tour and subsequent negotiations, the Property Manager has committed his business to allow a maximum of four vendors per month, on a rotational basis, to ply their trade at either end of the store front.

Minister Todd, who accepted the proposal, noted that the vendors would remain until they were permanently accommodated elsewhere by the Government.

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