Vending in public places an issue

The Cayman Islands government has decided not to bother with an initiative set out by the Ministry of Finance to begin prosecuting public vendors who set up shop without first obtaining a trade and business licence.

The crackdown, which was to commence this month, included all public places, but the primary concern were the public beaches.

“DOT welcomes vendors offering visitors and residents a taste of our heritage and culture in public spaces. However, it should never occur to the extent where our visitors and residents begin to feel harassed,” said Shomari Scott, director of the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

He added that the department supported the Department of Commerce and Investment and its Trade and Business Licensing Unit in their campaign to manage and regulate public vending, in particularly along public beaches.

“We hope all business persons see this campaign not as a hindrance but as an initiative to ensure the Cayman Islands maintain their place as a premier tourist destination,” Mr. Scott said.

Ryan Rajkumarsingh, head of licensing and enforcement at the Trade and Business Licensing Unit, added to Mr. Scott’s comments by explaining that anyone caught operating without a trade and business licence in a public place could be prosecuted by authorities in the Cayman Islands.

The measure would have also affected artisans at the George Town craft market and roadside vendors, though the focus of the round-up was public beaches, where everything from ice cream to rides on flotation devices and beach chairs are being purveyed.

Michael Morgan, owner of V-Kool, a business that offers visitors and residents rides on a labyrinth of flotation devices, strewn along the beach, was asked by the Caymanian Compass to share his recent experiences. He said in his view, as long as their was no teeth in the law to address the issue of vendors in public places, the Business Licensing Unit and the police service would be fighting a losing battle and wasting time and resources.

“There is nothing written in the law prohibiting us from doing business on the beach,” he said. “I had a licence, but now they are refusing to renew it. I have been under threat now for over a year but there is nothing in the law that says we should not be here. I haven’t stopped because I don’t agree with what they are trying to do without a written law in place to back up their actions.”

During a recent media briefing, Cabinet Minister Rolston Anglin addressed the issue of the laws on the books being antiquated and not up to speed.

“We are in the process of looking at what has been put together,” Mr. Anglin said. “There are going to be some change to the proposed policy. As a result, the crackdown will not take place this month. Traditionally, this kind of vending has not been a part of Caymanian culture and it us unfair to have some people doing business other than how it should be done.”


  1. To comment on vending in public places, i would suggest that those in authority on this issue, better make strick guidelines on this issue and have them inforced.
    I do not support just anyone applying for a business license and getting it. This should be restricted to Caymanians Born only. What the government need to realize is that the Genuine Cayman People is over ran with foreigners who are controlling every street corner. WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANY SHACKS ALONG SIDE OF THE ROADS AND BEACHES. WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE CLOTHES HANGING ON THE ROAD SIDE. We do not want to see people selling bedspreads, and pillows under tents in their yards by the road side, unless there is a licence to do so outside also. The Department of invironment needs to have something to do. Caymanians need to be inspecting these wayside sellers, NOT A JOB FOR JAMAICANS. It is hight time that the Government begin looking after those Caymanians who built this country to where it is and not those who just came on board for the money. Caymanians should be able to get a licence to sell public places but not Foreign people, because I gurantee this will bring a big problem in this country. I do not think Caymanians are prepared to take this anymore. Every Tom Dick and Harry will be applying for a business licence. HELLO !! it must not run that way. Now we wait and see.

  2. @Hunter insularity is a serious feature of your comment. You have a legitimate concern and you have a view of where you want your country to go. No problem with that! However, business license to be restricted to Cayman Islanders are against international principles. It suggest discrimination and hatred. The United Nation and other world organizations are against such view especially that we are in an age of globalization. Should the international community take that same stance in regards to the banking industry then the Cayman Banking industry would suffer. As, we speak, The US is aruging that alot of money leaving the US and the money should stay there. Take for instance this policy of the Obama administration on tax evasion … I am sure the policy will affect the Banking industry of the Cayman Islands which is the reason for the flourish of the small nation state. Smaller islanders like you ought not to think on a singularity of notion but if we apply what you say to the broader politics and economy of the day! The Cayman Islands would suffer. Furthermore, I am still trying to comprehend the hatred towards Jamaicans in your post. But anyways ONE LOVE

  3. FairandBalance, I believe you have missed the boat by a stroke. If you are so nice and sensible and intelligent, I would make one suggestion to you. Please come by our Red Cross Building on a Tuesday morning at 9 am and witness the fights and rows and disgraceful behavior by Jamaicans. I am not anti Jamaicans, but they need to know their place and behavior when they visit or live in other people place.
    I have also heard that at the Craft market in George Town, it is a disgrace of their behavior, The taxi and busses state the same. They fight at peoples places where there is garage sales and in the process drop TVs and broke them tearing away from each other hands. Pee on peoples lawns and the list go on. I would suggest that you come out of your little nest and do some observation as to their behavior. I am not against them, but their behavior stinks, and further more you know it too. The people of Cayman are definately fed up with the agressiveness in this country. Learn to behave, like it or like it not.

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