One of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government’s main priorities is to improve and expand the economy through the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector. At the moment, they’ve zoned their focus on beach and coastal vendors.
In a press release shared by the Office of the Premier, they share their intention to improve the management and regulation of the sector given the potential for business opportunities in the beach and coastal vending sector. The endgame would see the Beach and Coastal Vending Policy developed to account for the provisions to license legitimate coastal and beach business operators. In turn, this framework will aim to efficiently manage all beach and coastal vending in line with the luxurious branding of the TCI.
The most noteworthy aspect of the policy is the pause that will be placed on vending operations coming into effect as the government evaluates the carrying capacity of TCI’s lush coastal areas. One could see this potentially problematic for some vendors as they are reliant on this for their livelihoods.
However, the government has promised that the policy will not ban operation of current small businesses.
Sapodilla Bay, has already been evaluated by the Government through a thorough assessment of the beach and has been determined to be able to facilitate a safe and agreeable level of activity for the general public.
While the project is in its early days, the plan is for the Government to acquire additional land and construct a permanent structure for vendors and adequately regulate vending at the Sapodilla Bay beach so that TCI can produce a more pleasurable and orderly vending experience.
Naturally, this process will take time.
A piece of crown land has been identified near the beach and as of December 1st this year, vendors will operate from this location until further notice. The new facilities are said to include the standard restroom facilities, vending kiosks and a parking lot to house operations.
The Government seems keen on tackling the challenges of managing this sector; perhaps the development of vending facilities at locations like Sapodilla Bay and other sites across the islands will prove effective in the long term.