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Don't let MoBay end up like Kingston - Businesswoman

Published:Saturday | February 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMBarrington Flemming

Norma Webster, trichologist and proprietor of the Montego Bay-based Norma Webster Salon and Spa, says the Government's failure to enforce the law relating to the Public Health Regulations of 2004 is responsible for the rash of roadside cosmetologists now popping up in the western city.

Webster was speaking at Wednesday's launch of the associate degree in salon and spa management, offered by the Montego Bay Community College Workforce Development and Continuing Education Division in collaboration with the HEART College of Beauty Services.

"I see where Montego Bay has now joined the street salon phenomenon, which has been a feature of downtown Kingston for some time," said Webster. "I am taking the liberty of asking that the local authority not allow the situation to escalate out of control as it is a clear and present danger to our public and our hospitality industry," she said.

"There is nothing Jamaican, or even cute, about someone having their hair, eyebrows, and nails done on the side of the street in downtown Montego Bay, and I'm asking for some immediate attention to be paid to this issue," added Webster.

She challenged the authorities to ensure that the public-health standards developed by the Government are applied in addressing what she described as a threat to the industry, noting that enough was not being done to cause people to comply.

"I have serious concerns about the extent to which this particular piece of regulation is being enforced," continued Webster. "I am referring to the disregard for standards in the beauty and wellness industry. This wanton disregard points to the need for education, more serious enforcement of standards, and proper safeguards to protect the industry's viability and protect customers' welfare. I consider the beauty-service industry a vital part of the hospitality industry, especially here in Montego Bay, the Tourism Mecca."