MONTEGO BAY, St James — The St James Municipal Corporation has waived shop rental fees, up to June, for craft vendors who operate at the Harbour Street and Fourth Street craft markets in Montego Bay.
Mayor of Montego Bay Councillor Homer Davis made the announcement at last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the municipal corporation held at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre.
He said the decision was taken to waive the fees following a meeting of the corporation’s finance committee on April 8.
He noted that the downturn in the tourism industry, due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has had a major impact on operators in the sector, including craft traders.
“For the months of April, May, and June the owners and occupants of those craft shops won’t be required to pay rent. The consideration was given as their business is primarily a part of the tourism industry,” Mayor Davis said.
“They get their clients from tourists visiting Jamaica, and we have seen what has happened to most of the hotels here in Montego Bay, so it will be difficult for them at this time,” he added.
Craft vendors registered with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) should by April 30 benefit from one-off grants of $40,000, under the Government’s COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) programme.
Meanwhile, Mayor Davis said the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has allocated
$600, 000 to each councillor to provide care packages to needy individuals within their divisions.
“I would encourage all of us at this time to focus our attention on those needy persons and those who are more vulnerable in our division, to extend these care packages to,” he said.
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