Street vendors get short reprieve ahead of fines

| 12/07/2016 | 13 Comments

Street vendor in George Town, Grand Cayman(CNS Business): Local tradespeople who have been selling souvenirs, coconuts or fruit, or renting beach chairs or snorkel kits without a trade and business licence on the streets of George Town, along Seven Mile Beach and at the West Bay dock have been given one more month to comply with the law before government starts issuing fines. A number of illegal vendors have been given notices to get their T&B licences and other legal requirements in order before they can trade.

Since government announced its plans to clamp down on illegal vending several months ago, some of the traders have suffered significant hardship because they are not in a position to comply with all the requirements of the law; in some cases the necessary liability insurances is too much to pay. There are already unconfirmed reports that some of those who have been prevented from trading have turned to crime and some have lost homes.

But during Finance Committee and on other public platforms government ministers and MLAs have said they are doing all they can to help vendors trade legally. As a result of these efforts another month has been added to the deadline before the fines are enforced.

The Department of Commerce and Investment said in a short-statement last week that it is obligated to abide by the law. However, the Ministry of Tourism is currently implementing a plan to get vendors regularised and the Trade and Business Licensing Board has agreed to the ministry’s request to extend the time before the illegal vendors are fined.

“While the enforcement process has been delayed, DCI welcomes collaboration with other government entities and accepts the TBL Board’s ruling on this matter,” a spokesperson for the DCI said. “For the vendors involved, this decision is not a reprieve, but rather an opportunity to secure a valid business licence — and gain permission to operate on crown land, such as the Public Beach and West Bay docks — to avoid further enforcement action.”

The clampdown has caused concern among the vendors and opposition politicians, who believe the requirements of the law for some vendors are too onerous given the limited incomes they generate. But officials are concerned over reports of hustling and even drug dealing in and around the areas where vendors have been trading. Joey Hew, the tourism minstry councillor, recently told CNS Business that the police have had to step in to deal with complaints from visitors about some unlicensed traders.

Nevertheless, the tourism ministry is looking at ways to regularise all local traders to keep people in business and benefiting from the tourism sector but doing so in an organised and legal way, Hew said.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Local Business, Small Business

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    some one got their monthly “consultant”fee paid.

  2. Anonymous says:

    These vendors need to be removed from the public beach. Their chairs clutter the beach and access to the beach. A select few should not be given permission to do this either. If you want a beach chair at the public beach bring your own. I myself have been there and been unable to access the beach in that area without walking a few hundred yards down to enter the water as the chairs are blocking access to the water. They must be made to move and not be licenced to operate there either.

  3. Anonymous says:

    making room for dart

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is by no means a clamp down, although it should be. It’s so shameful that I refuse to attend public beach or take visiting guests there.

    By and large these folks are loose canons with an entitlement attitude that stinks. They present as the opposite of Cayman Kind and are doing their best to paint a 3rd world image of Cayman to the detriment of the islands as a product.

    Beyond enforcement of the law, any T&B license granted for these purposes must be contingent on successful completion of hospitality/customer service training.

    As it stands, they should not be on the frontlines of our tourism product but rather off the streets and off the beaches until licensed and trained to represent a ley pillar of the economy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is selective enforcement at best. Anyone know the line between that and nepotism or even corruption?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why does this always have to be an “us” vs “them” situation. I don’t really care who is doing it, it should just be done correctly. The person who “rents” the beach chairs on Public Beach appears to be local, however it is honestly the biggest eyesore imaginable. What once used to be a beautiful beach for locals and tourists to play on, is now inundated with grotty beach chairs as far as the eye car see. No longer can you sit in a cabana and see the sea without being blocked by stacks of chairs. This is definitely one place the DoT should jump in on and sort out before it is too late – as someone mentioned earlier, a shed that someone can go to and rent a chair would be a much better idea

  7. annoymous says:

    They going chase these hardworking honest people out of their livelihood.

    But all those milliona outstanding in PR abd Status fees are being overlooked to come after these poor people.

    Shame on the lot of you. Why not make these trades free of fees. If it’s only a one man or one woman show then give these poor people a chance to earn the only living they know. At least they won’t me at the NAU looking money from government every month, unless that’s the purpose.

    This government is a damn joke!

  8. Last Resort says:

    A more productive approach would be to have them regulated by the Tourism Department and use its massive annual budget for training so that these people can be properly equipped to be presentable ambassadors for Cayman rather than the backward Caribbean haggler model that we have been following.

    We have no mountains and rivers. The future lies in providing first class service, cleanliness and safety. Currently we are off course, but hopefully it is not too late.

  9. Amnesty for Native Caymanian Vendors says:

    I know for a fact that this has been in the works for several years. Unfortunately, the good is suffering for the bad as is the norm in Cayman. I believe all vendors that are Caymanian by Birth should be grandfathered into this program without penalty. Although this is a new regime, some of the activities are a part of traditional Caymanian culture. For example, a Native Caymanian selling coconuts to tourists is EXCELLENT for our tourism product. Tourists rarely have an opportunity to interact with US, so the more opportunities the better. A low income Caymanian selling coconuts or juices to earn a living should be seen as a national treasure and all fees should be waived.

    As for the beach vendors, from what I understand, many of them are expats and some are even on permits. They also badger the tourists which is BAD for tourism. The best solution is to build a few kiosks and rent them out to Native Caymanians by Birth (as a PRIORITY) to help boost our tourism product.

    Sorry but I can’t endorse greedy expats on permits being grabby and disrespectful to tourists.

    The guy with the red, yellow and green cart is also clueless about our culture. Caymanians are a mixed race and are for the most part, NOT pro-African. The red, yellow and green colour scheme is typically adopted by clueless Caymanians who don’t know much about or don’t respect our culture or those with direct Jamaican links. We are CAYMAN, NOT JAMAICA. No offense to Jamaica or Jamaicans or Caymanian Residents with Jamaican links, however, with respect to our tourism product, we need to draw the line to keep Cayman unique.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hear hear. Cayman’s popularity has always been based on clean beaches without vendors so WHY allow this 3rd world problem to start here? See The Tourist Foundation link below, this is a real problem!!

    Cayman voters: Do NOT let your politicians pander to a few friends on this one! We have never allowed tourists to be hassled and we will not start now.

    http://www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/green_business_tools/reducing_tourist_hassle/setting_the_scene

  11. Anonymous says:

    Following on with the local Cayman tradition of non-enforcement of most laws, this comes as no surprise. Why are you giving a reprieve to vendors and hustlers that openly flout the Law? I do not take my kids to Public Beach anymore and I certainly do not take visitors, to what is really a gong show on the ocean. as a small business owner I pay all sorts of fees and taxes to operate my business, why do they get to use public land for nothing?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Finally. Nice to see you are enforcing your own rules on your own

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. The CNS Comment Policy is at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: