Jamaica: Call for COVID cushion for craft sector

The Government has been urged to provide a lifeline to craft merchants facing eviction in markets across the island.

Tagging craft traders “the most vulnerable in tourism”, Opposition Spokesperson Janice Allen has called for equitable distribution of relief and opportunities for those who are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allen said most of the people affected are mainly women who are heads of households with the responsibility of sending their children to school.

In a press statement issued Wednesday, Allen said that approximately 2,500 craft traders have depleted their savings and are facing an uncertain future. Their fortunes have largely sunk with the downturn in the tourism industry.

Craft traders are being threatened by municipal officials and management companies because of overdue rent that has accumulated since the onset of the pandemic.

“The larger companies in the industry have been able to access grants to cushion the COVID-19 blow and the craft sector should be treated no different,” said Allen.


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