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Jun 3, 2011

Rotten deal? City Councilor says market vendors made the rules

Alvin Hyde Jr.

Wholesalers operating along Hiccatee Street near the Michael Finnegan Market are up in arms over the enforcement of regulations by the Belize City Council to restrict the sale of produce outside of regulated hours.  Upon relocation from West Canal prior to the opening of the new market, vendors had agreed to sell fruits and vegetables between the hours of five a.m. and one p.m. to avoid competing with retailers inside the market.  A fixed rate of fifteen dollars per day was also approved, but today wholesalers are complaining that the eight-hour period is not sufficient time to sell their produce while vendors inside are also complaining of unfair competition.  The city council, for its part, has wasted no time in applying the rules and according to Alvin Hyde Jr. a level playing field should be established.

Alvin Hyde Jr., Vendor

“The issue out ya is that dehn wahn get these people affa di street but fih dehn thing is that dehn only fi wholesale from certain time to certain time because di wholesaling di affect di people inside di market.  But di people dehn inside di market dehn wholesale and retail so why we cyan’t have wah level ball field.  Unu wholesale and retail, we wholesale and retail, level ball field.  Di vendors inside go to the council and say hear ya we noh di mek no money.  We cyan’t pay unu unu rent because di competition to tight, I mean, noh because this competition to tight now you wahn close down di people out dis side fi please di one inside.  If yoh cyan’t meet yo rent or yo cyan’t like, di business noh di pay you then give up di business, haul out and give somebody else wah break.  But noh because you noh di mek it now you wahn get me sanctioned out ya and haul my, the lee crumbs dehn outta my mouth fi me and my kids and so.  I mean like ah say wah level ball field boss.”

News Five spoke with councilor Philip Willoughby earlier today and he stated that the vendors were the ones who came up with both the daily fee and the hours they would sell their produce.  He further stated that the council is only enforcing the rules that were set by them.

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