A government minister has underscored the need to create a framework to facilitate vending across Barbados that would see an end to harassment, and allow vendors to ply their trade freely.
Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, singled out vending as an example of the legislative interventions Government needed to tackle as they create the environment to facilitate growth; promote an ease in doing business and generate economic activity.
He said in a recent interview that vending legislation was needed to empower the sector and make the conduct of the activity more hygienic.
“A space must now be carved out for the first time in our history for the vending community in this country and they must be placed on an equal footing with every other commercial player in Barbados. So, there will have to be a piece of vending legislation which will seek to empower them as a class of persons; create designated spaces for their activity and to make the activity possible in the most hygienic and satisfactory circumstances,” Symmonds stated.
Emphasising that for too long vendors had been treated as “second class citizens”, the Minister pointed out that persons should not be selling “alongside” the road and not be able to cater to their customers in an environment that was comfortable.
Symmonds also mentioned the need for easy access to licences for persons hosting events, and suggested having a seasonal licence as one way to achieve this.
“Therefore, the concept of having seasonal licences and bringing an end to persons having to go to the Magistrates’ Court in order to get a liquor licence every week or every month, or how ever often, all of that has to be brought to an end, so that we facilitate business better for the average Barbadian,” he underlined.
The Minister said traditionally, business facilitation had been spoken about within the context of helping the international business community. However, he stressed the time had come to “break for ourselves and look after our own people”.