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Vendors to take over Port Antonio streets for Christmas

Published:Thursday | December 18, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer

PORT ANTONIO, Portland:VENDORS ARE expected to get a reprieve as the Portland Parish Council is to 'free up' the town for the festive season.

Mayor of Port Antonio, Benny White, said consumers will be able to shop with more ease during the Christmas season as vendors will be able to operate along most of the streets in the town, to make up for the wet and muddy conditions in the town.

"We deemed it necessary to implement this change. The road work is not yet completed, and West Street is affected by rainfall and mud. As a result of the ongoing rainfall, workmen assigned to Vinci Construction Company are yet to carry out the necessary resurfacing of that thoroughfare, which poses a challenge to consumers and motorists. I believe it is also a golden opportunity for vendors, who will be able to ply their goods closer to consumers," said Benny White, mayor of Port Antonio.

vendors welcome move

Jerk vendors, who were removed from the corridors of the Musgrave Market in Port Antonio last week, also welcomed the move.

"It is a blessing. We will now be able to earn our livelihood and to support our families this Christmas. I don't know what the New Year will bring, but for now, the news is welcome. There was uncertainty as to what might have happened to us for the festive season, but we have been given the green light to operate," said Gilbert Hall, a jerk vendor.

Other vendors, who have complained bitterly about being stuck in the market for years, while struggling to make a day sale, have also lauded the decision by the council to permit them to vend on the corridors during the Christmas holiday.

"Bwoy mi cyaan wait. Inside this market it is like famine and starvation, as sales are slow. I might just be able to drink some sorrel juice, bake a Christmas cake, and even buy a piece of ham to share with my husband and children this time around," said Joyce Small a food vendor.