UDC committed to working with craft vendors to solve issues, despite financial challenges 

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) says despite financial challenges, it is committed to collaborative problem-solving  with craft vendors to enhance mutual benefits.

The agency says Jamaica’s craft vendors are pivotal to the nation’s cultural and economic legacy.

The statement follows a press conference yesterday, where vendors from 3 craft markets in Ocho Rios St. Ann, outlined their concerns over the agreements being proposed by the UDC and raised concerns about  the state of the markets.

The vendors also lamented that they were not benefiting from the increased revenues being earned by the industry.

In a statement this morning , the UDC says in a continuing effort to enhance vendor relations, representatives  met with Pineapple Place craft traders on April 23, to update and finalize their licensing agreements.

It says this is part of a broader initiative that includes refurbishments at Pineapple Place and Ocho Rios Craft Markets, with landscaping enhancements to follow.

• UDC operates three craft markets in St. Ann, at Dunn’s River, Pineapple Place, and Ocho Rios, serving a total of 434 vendors.

• Additional markets in Rutland Point, Negril, Success, Montego Bay, and Kingston accommodate another 93 vendors.

• Vendor rates range from $1200 to $2400 monthly, which the UDC says underscores its commitment to providing recognized facilities for craft businesses.

The agency notes that despite a high delinquency rate with 217 of the 434 vendors, particularly in two Ocho Rios locations where costs exceed revenues, it is proactive in addressing these challenges.

According to the statement, the combined facilities generate revenues of $7.3 million, against expenses of  $17 million and $800,000.

The UDC says several projects to uplift and clean the markets are underway as it seeks to improve both the work environment for craft traders and make the markets more attractive for visitors. 

The organization emphasizes the importance of fee collection in maintaining these crucial spaces, thereby fostering an environment that nurtures creativity and commerce.

It adds that vendor agreements are crucial for ensuring regulatory compliance and boosting consumer confidence.

It adds that vendors in Kingston and Negril have already signed their agreements and efforts are underway in St. Ann to complete this process.

The UDC says through strategic partnerships with entities like the Tourism Product Development  Company and other key stakeholders, UDC is committed to elevating Jamaica’s Craft Industry to global standards.

The corporation in a post on Facebook yesterday, indicated that the agency has began beautification works at the Ocho Rios and Pineapple Place Craft Markets.

Meantime, craft traders in Ocho Rios, St. Ann say they will no longer accept promises from the authorities relating to the upgrading of the facilities.

The vendors from the Ocho Rios, Pineapple Place and Dunn’s River Craft Markets are standing united, calling for action from the relevant agencies.

They outlined their grouses at a press conference at the Ocho Rios craft market yesterday.

President of the Ocho Rios Craft Market, Mossana Martin said the shops occupied by the traders have deteriorated over the years.

She added that despite attending many meetings  and highlighting their concerns they have only received promises.

Mrs. Martin said  they are tired and need action.


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