The government will make a way to bring street vendors into the formal economy, even offering grants for many of them to improve their operations and make them safer, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said on Monday.
Minnis, who made the announcement during a press conference to update the country on COVID-19, said street vendors play an important role in The Bahamas’ economy and should be able to conduct business safely and sustainably.
“We will be offering a way for enterprising Bahamians to be able to sell their product on the streets of their respective islands…” Minnis said.
“The government will review the current licensing and regulatory procedures for street vendors. Our intention is to enable street vendors to be able to sell their products in safe and secure venues. We want them to be able to do so in a way that does not pose undue danger to themselves, pedestrians or the motoring public.
“We will put in place the standards that will ensure that they will be able to meet health code requirements and thus not pose any health risks, COVID-19 or otherwise.”
Minnis said street vendors will be offered grants through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) and will be required to undergo training as part of their licensing process.
According to the prime minister, additional money will be transferred to the SBDC’s operations to fund the grants.
“To explain broadly, the street vendors that we have here in New Providence and throughout the Family Islands will be provided with financial grants, money they will not have to repay…, a gift from the government, so that they can establish their businesses,” Minnis said.