Legislator Appeals For Debt Write-Off For Craft Alive Vendors

BVI Platinum News | November 14, 2019 12:25 pm AST | 15 Comments
BVI Platinum News
November 14, 2019 12:25 pm AST | 15 Comments
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News


(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)

In response to news that some of the vendors of Craft Alive were being asked to leave for nonpayment of rent, Fourth District Representative Hon. Mark Vanterpool, and Sixth District Representative, Hon Alvera Maduro Caines have asked for leniency to be applied to the situation.

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Speaking at a press conference on November 13, Hon. Maduro-Caines suggested that the vendors might not be able to pay their outstanding debt and she suggested that their debt be written off.

“I met with a few of the persons holding shops there and yes a lot of them owe a lot of money, but the payment plan that some have asked for is virtually impossible to be paid at that time,” Hon. Maduro-Caines stated.

According to the District Representative, some vendors were given a three-month period to be able to pay outstanding amounts as much as $10,000.

"I can’t see that happen. I myself won’t be able to do with my salary so I can imagine the state that they’re in at this time so I’m asking forgiveness needs to be put in place certainly. I would say forgive the debts of the past and 2020, you start something new. Let them enter into a new contract because I can’t see it possible for them to payoff what they owe. I am not saying that it is right for them to owe, but in this case I can]t see it happening,” the Sixth District Representative stated.

Hon. Vanterpool stated that the vendors had some struggles especially after the hurricanes.

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"They’ve had difficulties receiving income or operating after the hurricane season for about a year or a year and a half or so to get back to the level that the cruise ships were coming. Now that the cruise ships are coming I’m sure that they will be able to earn an income and be able to pay some of their revenue,” Hon. Vanterpool stated.

He added, “I don’t know what the government has done in forgiving certain periods –they should in my view forgive especially during that period, but I believe that some leniency should be given considering that situation…Overall we should give the tenants an opportunity to get their situation right and encourage them to be able to pay their fees over a period of time. I believe there is need for giving time especially since the cruise business was out for a year during 2017/2018.”

Further Hon. Vanterpool announced that he is hoping for an extended grace period to allow the vendors to get the money.

“Some vendors have had outstanding bills, others have not, others have been paying. The issue of collection is an issue that the City Development Manager has been working on. I don’t know what happened, but I know it became much more difficult after the hurricanes. That’s why I said that in these circumstances we need to come to a point of forgiving some of the debt or addressing it … I don’t know if we necessarily need to look at it from a point of forgiving all of it, but giving certainly a longer period to address it. Three months is definitely not a fair time to address.”

The Fourth District Representative also noted that the Ministry has been in touch with vendors on the matter from what he understands and he that he has also spoken to Minister for Works, and Utilities Hon. Kye Rymer.

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