British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Sep 22, 2020

Permission needed to operate! RT seeing increase in 'pop-up shops'

Permission needed to operate! RT seeing increase in 'pop-up shops'

Amid an “increase” in the emergence of pop-up shops in Road Town, City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards is warning residents and would-be operators that a temporary trade license and permission must be sought before setting up these temporary points of sale.

She told BVI News that her office has seen a mixture of food and clothing-type vendors popping up around the territory’s capital in recent times.

Brathwaite-Edwards further said some of these pop-up business operators have trade licences but are not following the specifications of them.

“People believe if they have a trade license they can do what they want. No. If you have a trade license to sell food, it is to sell food in location ‘X’. If you have a trade license to sell clothes, you have a trade license to sell clothes in location ‘X’. The two cannot be mixed,” the City Manager told BVI News recently.

“We have businesses that are operating within the confines of the city that are stepping outside. We don’t want the city to be an area on a daily basis with pop-up shops and people doing that kind of business. We don’t want that to be prevalent in the city.”

She continued: “We have seen an increase [in pop-up shops] … and what we are saying is, permission must be sought and it must be granted because your trade license specifies exactly where you are supposed to be operating from.”


Follow the rules

In the meantime, Brathwaite-Edwards said some persons are operating these types of businesses on a more permanent basis but with no intention of renting or owning permanent storefronts in the city.

“We have people who feel like ‘I needed to make a little money, so I need to come to town to set up my shop. We don’t have a problem on occasion — you have [leeway] during festival, Christmas, etcetera. But for it to be a daily routine [is an issue]. Keep in mind that I have [other] people who are paying leases, rent, electricity, water, and then you come with your pop-up shop, do your business and walkway. You have not made any contribution to the city of Road Town and its upkeep, its development, its positive growth, nothing,” Brathwaite-Edwards argued.

She said her office is currently working in tandem with the Trade Department and Ministry of Transportation, Works & Utilities to get the issue addressed.

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