Help for vendors
A re-elected Democratic Labour Party administration will bring special micro enterprise legislation to help vendors become bona fide business men and women. Minister of Agriculture Dr. David Estwick made this intention
known today as he piloted discussion on a more than half million supplementary resolution in the House of Assembly.
“What that will do is that it will now codify and it will now establish in a structured framework vending within what is considered legitimate business and that is why I am going to be behind the member for St. Lucy (Minister of Industry and Small Business Denis Kellman) day in and day out to get that piece of legislation up,” the St. Philip West MP said.
“Our continuous support is evidenced by the attention being given by the member for St. Lucy regarding amendments to the Small Business Development Act, so as to provide provisions and incentives for those persons in business known as micro business operators, to which one can safely say vending is such an activity.
“And in the same way that a small business can be considered an approved small business and then benefit from special concessions we believe that those concessions and other type arrangement should be allowed to be provided for by those persons in the area of vending,” he added.
He said he expected such legislation to help vendors “in later years to deal with mattes of National Insurance payments and potential pensions and so on”.
“They must never see themselves again as persons not worthy to be called business men in Barbados. That is the reason why this party deserves the support of the vendors in this country,” he said.
Estwick also criticised individuals he said attempted to politicise vending issues, including where these people could sell.
“What is important is … that when the ministry takes a decision in relation to where persons ought to vend or ought not to vend many times the ministry is not the final institution that determines that activity,” the minister stated.
“Our responsibility deals with licensing, but what is more important is that where you vend is important for the protection of the vendors themselves.
“Also, one has to make sure that pedestrians are protected, also one has to make sure that there is vehicular access available, one also has to make sure that there is access to the various businesses in that area, and in addition one must make sure that the security dynamics are also in place.
“So these factors, in addition to the health and sanitary aspects with respect to vending, must be looked at as a collective not only by my ministry, but also by the Royal Barbados Police Force.” (SC)