Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says consideration is being given to reducing the fees charged by municipal corporations to stage events, in anticipation of the reopening of the entertainment sector.
Addressing a special sitting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation on Thursday (June 10), Mr. McKenzie said that a meeting will be held with the country’s mayors later this month to discuss the matter.
“Because of the challenges that the sector faces… I am going to be putting it to the mayors for their consideration, that if we take the decision to reopen the sector, that for a period, we will consider a reduction in the fees that are associated for the staging of entertainment events,” he noted.
The Minister said that the reduced fees, once given the nod by the local authorities, would help to provide stability to the sector, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He noted that since March 2020, the local authorities have collectively lost approximately one billion dollars that would have been generated through various fees charged for the staging of entertainment events.
Minister McKenzie said that the successful reopening of the entertainment sector will depend on the participation and commitment of the entertainment stakeholders “to make it work”.
The Government has been engaged in consultations with members of the sector to establish protocols for the resumption of activities.
In addition, Government has proposed a list of approved venues that will be made available at subsidised rates as a stimulus for the sector.
The venues include facilities at Independence Park, the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium, and the Port Royal Entertainment Zone, including Fort Rocky and Fort Charles, as well as Seville Heritage Park.