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Mayor warns downtown businesses

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS Observer writer edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2012    

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KINGSTON Mayor Angella Brown Burke warned yesterday that the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) could get tough with businesses engaged in trading without trade licences and which refuse to comply.

Brown Burke, who updated the Council on the KSAC 2012 Trade Licence Compliance Initiative launched on September 3, said that the KSAC would not hesitate to name the businesses that refused to cooperate and pay the appropriate fees.

"We are talking nicely and we are seeking cooperation but don't take our kindness for weakness," she said

She said that there had been a positive response to the exercise which began in downtown Kingston.

The mayor pointed out that whereas the revenue collected by the KSAC for trade licences in July was $261,000, between September 3 to 9 since the initiative began, $1.5 million has been collected.

Brown Burke said that in the exercise downtown, a number of irregularities had been identified.

One of the irregularities discovered by the KSAC team was that some individuals who were operating several different businesses that should each have a trade licence, only one had a trade licence.

The KSAC also found that many of the businesses were not registered.

"Some are not registered with the Registrar of Companies," she said.

Some businesses were found to be not operating under the name on the trade licence but under a different name.

They also found that some of the business did not display the trade licence certificate as required by the law.

Meanwhile, the mayor also disclosed that the Redemption Market would be renovated and reopened by December at a cost of US$500,000 (about $44 million). The renovation, which will include 130 new stalls and a new roof was being undertaken by a collaborative initiative among the Digicel Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the KSAC, Brown Burke said.

The mayor also said that the Council would be going on a retreat from September 20-22. The retreat would foucs on improving own-source revenue, improving service delivery and improving the public and private image of the KSAC.

"At the end of the retreat, the Council should have a blue print on the way forward," she said

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