Thursday, April 18, 2024

Vending policy approved

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Cabinet has approved the policy on decriminalizing illegal vending.This was revealed by Minister of Small Business Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland, as he spoke to media representatives following the opening of Dollar Smart Discount Store, in St. Patrick’s, Christ Church, on Friday.

Noting the approval came three weeks ago, Sutherland said: “The next step was to develop a comprehensive vending policy.”

“It is a way of life for some people.  It is part of our culture and part of our heritage…vendors are critical people.  There are also small businesses and entrepreneurs who are waiting to just have the opportunity to grow business and indeed to go beyond these shores of 166 square miles.”

Sutherland was optimistic about the future of small businesses and expected to see growth in the sector in 2019, despite the challenges faced over the last five years as a result of the economic climate.

He said his optimism was as a result of the Ministry’s work, based on the recently launched Trust Loan Fund Programme, the recent approval of 50 new small business ventures and the feedback from various business- men and women with whom he has been interacting since taking up the portfolio.
Sutherland also revealed that the Unit, since its opening four weeks ago, received 2 000 applications and approved about 1 000. The Unit, he added, would receive an annual injection of $10 million, and had already exhausted its first injection of $2 million.

He said two other offices under the Trust Loan Unit will be opened within the first quarter of next year, one in Speightstown and the other in Oistins, and Government was in the process of acquiring the facilities.

The Commerce Minister also noted that the Unit, as part of Government’s plan to digitize its operations, would be incorporating an e-platform.  This would reduce the usage of paper and costs, and the monies saved could be used to further enhance the Unit, he stated. (BGIS)

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