After City Hall spent over $27 million for the renovation of the Kitty market, vendors are refusing to occupy the new stalls due to the high prices attached to them.
Vendors are complaining that due to the number of years that the market has been deteriorating, business has been on the decline. And as a result, paying over $25,000 per month to occupy a stall, to them, is unreasonable.
When Kaieteur News visited the Municipal market yesterday morning, vendors were at their wits to have their distress and concerns heard.
Grace Stewart who has been selling at the market for the past 35 years stated that because the stalls were built relatively small, it has been difficult to pack groceries in one stall. This dilemma has forced her to rent another stall.
So in order for her to have enough space to work, she is now occupying two small stalls at the market for a whopping $40,000 a months in rental fee.
“Is 35 years since I selling at Kitty market and before this make over, we used to have a much bigger space for only $3,000 a month. Now they gone and put stalls that costing you more than what you earning. Imagine you have to pay so much and the stall dem don’t even have lights in them.”
Stewart further stated that after receiving the stalls from the Market Council, it was to her surprise that neither of the stalls has any sort of electricity. However, after inquiring about the electricity outlet, she was told by the Market Council that it is the responsibility of the vendors to install lights in their respective stalls.
“The only reason I does still use these stalls is because, I getting old and bringing out goods to the market every day to sell is not easy. And with the stalls now, all you have to do is open the stall door and that is it.”
Another vendor, who gave her name as ‘Shelly’ stated, “First is my father used to sell in this space and after my father get stroke, I take over and girl it isn’t easy. We used to have a bigger space than this for $5,000 a month and we accepted that; but now for my stall, I does pay $25,000 for a month because my stall is a big one.”
At the Kitty Market, the vendors are saying that another reason that they are refusing to take up ownership of the stalls is because when the construction of the stalls began, no one from City Council came and interacted with them on the design of the stalls.
A clothes vendor, who gave his names as ‘Martin’ stated, “I was going and pay to rent one of the stalls you know, but when I went and check out the stall, it was a total disappointment because it is a way too small space for business.
“I refuse to pay so much money for something that cannot benefit me and then the place doesn’t have any lights.”
He further stated, “City Council has to understand that Kitty Market is a market that has been abandoned for over 15 years; customers give up on this market. Vendors are finding it hard to sell more than $10,000 a week and then from that same little bit money, you have to pay so much in rental fee, it is a disgrace.”
“Right now, the only people selling in this market are the clothes and food vendors and it is about six of them. People are not coming here to buy anything. The only time you would get a sale is in the afternoon and that is the time when the stall dem have to close up,” he further stated.
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