Jul 18, 2016 News
By Enid Joaquin
Linden Mayor, Carwyn Holland on Saturday met with stallholders of the Wismar Municipal Market where discussions were held on ways to upgrade the facility and attract more business.
During the visit, Holland noted: “Linden is not Mackenzie alone- Wismar has been shortchanged- but it is time to change all that. For too long Wismar vendors have been suffering.”
Among some of the changes that vendors are clamoring for, are the installation of an ATM in the market or in close proximity, additional and better security lighting, improved security and Bill Express and Western Union Services.
Over the years, business at this market has reduced considerably.
Some persons have blamed the rerouting of traffic away from Wismar to Mackenzie.
Previously, commuters from Wisroc and other communities on the west bank boarded buses that plied the Burnham Drive/Wisroc route.
This resulted in more traffic on the Wismar shore and subsequently more “traffic’’ through the Wismar Market.
Today, ‘short-drop’ buses no longer ply this route, and businesses on the Wismar shore have suffered as a consequence.
“People going straight over to Mackenzie – this happening over the past decade or so.” And the ironic thing is that is people from Wismar going to Mackenzie to support businesses on that shore, while the businesses on Wismar suffering.
But all that can change, all we need is an ATM machine over here, so that people can access money without going over to Mackenzie, “one stallholder said.
Holland, while supporting the installation of ATM services at the market, pointed out that security would have to be upgraded considerably, before this could be realized.
However, he assured the stallholders that there are” big plans” in store for the market.
He said that he was however not prepared to divulge too much at this juncture, as he preferred to wait until he had secured ‘certain things’.
Some of the improvements that are slated for speedy implementation are the rehabilitation of the roof and the asphalting of the parking facility in front of the market. According to Holland, tenders would be out as early as this week for the rehabilitation of the roof.
Holland said that it had been recommended by Regional Chairman Rennis Morian that the park be asphalted, which he said that he is in support off.
It was proposed a few years ago, that buses from Mahdia, could park near the Wismar Market, instead of using the Linden/ Georgetown bus park.
Holland said that this would help to promote business in the market.
Holland also posited that another way of attracting more business to the Market is through the establishment of a wholesale hub.
With such a facility, offering competitive prices that are equal to those in Georgetown, business people from all across Linden and Region Ten could make purchases there.
“So instead of people going to Georgetown to buy stocks for their business, they would be able to do that right here.
“The spin off from that would be that more money stays in Linden and circulates within the community.
If money leaves the Town, how can we benefit? We have to seek ways to keep more money right here.”
Calls were also made by the vendors for later opening hours on Sundays and holidays.
However, the Mayor pointed out that implementing later hours might entail additional costs to the Municipality which has responsibility for market security.
Vendors however argued that constables are at the market whether it was open or closed.
They were encouraged by the Mayor to “relaunch” “Market Days”, to help boost sales at the facility.
Holland pledged to partner with the vendors in their efforts to further promote business and encouraged them to consider advertising. He also encouraged them to write the Municipality about their concerns and some of the things that they would like to see implemented at the market.
At present, there are over 200 stalls in the Wismar Market, but on any given day only about one third of the stalls are open. When questioned about this state of affairs, most stall holders that opt to keep their stalls closed, said that they were frustrated because business was slow.
Other stallholders are calling for the Municipality to look into this matter, as many of the stalls have been locked up for months, and in a few cases, years.
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