The St. James Municipal Corporation is moving to create a structured platform for street vendors in Montego Bay to peddle their wares on selected streets in the city.
To this end, Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Leeroy Williams has announced that the Corporation will be staging a three day pre-registration for vendors who are now selling on some of the designated vending locations in downtown Montego Bay.
Mayor Williams said the pre-registration blitz will take place from Monday July 14 to Wednesday July 14, 2021 inside the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in historic Sam Sharpe Square from 9 am to 3 pm each day and will see vendors being carefully screened with a view of eventually registering them and granting them a Vendors’ Permit.
“The St. James Municipal Corporation is playing its part in the creation of a level playfield for vendors who currently sell on some of the designated vending streets in downtown Montego Bay. We are hoping that over these three day, vendors who want to legally sell in those areas will come forward and start the process of legitimizing their status. The Corporation is hoping that this blitz will be successful and that it will be a win-win situation for both the Corporation and the vendors”, Mayor Williams stated.
During the pre-registration activities, vendors will be screened to ensure that there are bonafide vendors who are selling on the selected streets. These streets include lower Market Street, Lower Corner Lane, North Lane, Lower Church Lane, Lower Lawrence Lane among others.
Mayor Williams was at pains to point out that the vending spaces are limited and that the screening process will be stringent and the guidelines will be strictly followed in granting vending permits.
He said “vendors who are coming to the blitz with the hope of being short listed for a permit must take a government issued picture identification, their Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN), proof of their place of residence, two passport size photographs-one which must be signed by a Justice of the Peace, (JP) and any expired Vending permits which they may have in their possession. We will not be extending any special favours to anyone-everyone must go through the outlined processes before they can be short listed or selected for a vending permit”.
Mayor Williams said following the three day blitz, the St. James Municipal Corporation will ensure that in very short order, vendors who are selected for a permit will be informed and will also be told of the exact location from where they will allowed to peddle their wares.
“Let me point out that only duly registered vendors will be allowed to vend on these selected streets. Vendors who are not registered and who are without a St. James Municipal Corporation issued permit, will have their goods confiscated and will be prosecuted. I am sure that these guidelines will be respected and honoured by the vendors and that there will be no need for the seizure of goods or prosecution”, Mayor Williams opined.
Mayor Williams also stated that the St. James Municipal Corporation will be working closely with the Jamaica Constabulary Force in regulating and enforcing the street vending regulations as four members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have been assigned to work with the municipal police in ensuring that there is full conformity.
Late last year, Mayor Williams declared St. James a 'No vending' area and encouraged vendors to only trade on the designated streets and lanes. The last mass registration of street vendors by the St. James Municipal Corporation took place over a year ago.