Growth & Jobs |Craft traders pivot to other areas
President of the All Island Craft Traders and Producers Association, Melody Haughton, says craft traders have been pivoting to other areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some persons have been going into farming, such as chicken rearing and vegetable growing,; making masks; and trying to get odd jobs,” she said.
“Some persons are selling drinks and grocery. So instead of spending our money elsewhere, we support our fellow traders and that’s what keep some persons going,”Haughton said.
She pointed out that due to economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, craft traders are also exploring the option of online stores to sell their items.
Haughton noted that the association has “gone ahead and employed a person to help us to best achieve this, so we are now in the process of getting our stores online”.
Meanwhile, she said that craft traders have been given COVID-19 protocol training by the Tourism Product Development Company, adding that they are also being trained by the Destination Assurance Councils to be included in the resilient corridors, “and be ready as [the] cruise shipping [industry] will change”.
Haughton pointed out that the pandemic has severely affected the craft traders; however, the association has been combining their efforts with other groups that give assistance.
“At the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, we get care packages to help out with needy members. Sarah’s Children, headed by Janet Silvera, has partnered with us, giving some tablets to our children, and we are seeking other partners. Another place that we are visiting is the Helping Hands Foundation, so our members can see how best they can cope,” she said.
Haughton is calling on other members of the private sector to partner with members of the craft industry.