JIS News

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has disbursed $5.7 million of grant money to 57 vendors whose stock was destroyed in the Oxford Mall fire of October 27.
The grant came as the result of an intervention of the Prime Minister who saw the plight of the vendors first hand when he visited on the day of the fire. Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister at the handing over of cheques yesterday ( Dec 8) , Special Technical Assistant Carlene Sinclair said that a total of 68 registered vendors lost goods and that cheques will be prepared for the remaining eleven vendors when all of the necessary documentation is in place. Ms Sinclair also said that the Oxford Mall is being refurbished.
“We can say that of the 68 persons who are registered vendors of this mall, 34 persons have received airline tickets to go and access their goods so that they can at least start to stock up for the Christmas season. Today we are handing over cash grants of $100,000 each. We were able to process 57 persons”.
“Today we are handing out $5.7 million in cash to the 57 persons. The other persons are being processed and it is a matter of ascertaining the correct TRN numbers. The physical working space is being refurbished at a tune of $2.4 million. The plans have been approved and the work is in progress and we expect completion of that to be in the middle of January. We want the vendors to make use of this grant to replenish your stock and start to make best use of the Christmas season..When the space is refurbished, that you will take the best care of it because it is your working space that you have to use to make your living.”
Air Jamaica assisted 34 vendors with transportation overseas. Data Research Manager at the Kingston and St Andrew (KSAC) Markets Department, Michael Webb, expressed appreciation to the Ministry of labour and the Prime Minister for the assistance given to their tenants.
“We must commend the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for how speedily they have dealt with processing the assistance grant to each of you. We wish to put on record our thanks to the Prime Minister, the KSAC, the Mayor and the Town Clerk for their involvement… As vendors we must act responsibly, pay your dues…I am glad that all of you are registered vendors and where your stock is of a certain value, you should try and get some insurance. May I express on behalf of the market department and the staff for the tremendous effort to make this morning a fruitful one.”
Speaking on behalf of vendors, Marva Ottey encouraged the public to visit the mall as the stalls, known for competitively priced goods, are back in business.
“A lot of you don’t know that the market is already back in process. Everything is all right; we started getting our goods back together. Christmas is here and we are ready to do whatever we have to do to make it work. Thanks for this little cash here, it is going to do a lot.”
The Oxford Mall is a part of the KSAC markets department. Several streets in Downtown Kingston will be restricted to pedestrians to make browsing and shopping safer during the Christmas shopping season.

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