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Ban on alcohol upsets vendors


Marlon Madden

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IT IS NOT FAIR. That’s the cry from Fairchild Street Bus Terminal vendors who will have to stop selling alcohol from April 1.
“If we not selling the alcohol, business will be dead. If we can’t sell the alcohol we won’t be able to pay the rent,” one vendor, who requested anonymity, told the SATURDAY?SUN yesterday.
The ban on alcohol sales by vendors who operate booths attached to the terminal, is included in a new contractural agreement with the Transport Board dated March 10, 2011. This contract also requires that rents – increased from $287.50 to $293.50 per month – must be paid three months in advance.
However, vendors lamented that if they were not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, they would not be able to pay the three months’ rent in advance and, furthermore, they would not be able to operate their business at all.
“I don’t think it is fair to we at all,” one vendor said, “I am not signing nothing. All ’o we have to make up our minds. We not signing it. All these things they telling we don’t do, the rent should be cut down. With all the rules they have they will  have to cut down on the rent. This is not fair, this is not fair.”
“If we not selling the alcohol, business will be dead,” she added.
Kill time
The vendor, who has been doing business at one spot since 1990, said sometimes she had to open as early as 5 a.m. in order to make a sale or two for the day.
Some days all she did was to “kill time”, she said.
A 45-year-old vendor who also requested anonymity said things was already hard for him and not selling alcohol “would make business much harder”. In fact, he said: “Sales would drop drastically.”
Aliciah Cave said she did not know what to do.
“ Alcohol is the main thing selling here. We can’t just sell sweetie, snacks and food. So I don’t know what else they want us to sell.”
Most of the vendors argued that some days they would make just over $200 and most of the sales would be from the sale of the alcoholic beverages.
When contacted, Transport Board’s marketing and corporate communications manager Lynda Holder said she was not aware of the new contractual agreement issued to the vendors.
“I really cannot comment on a contract since I have not seen it. I would have to investigate that,” she said.

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