Jamaica govt plans to help quick-service industry
Kingston – Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that a Cabinet sub-committee is working with the Private Sector Association of Jamaica (PSOJ) to develop a model through which the quick-service industry may be able to operate during curfew hours.
He noted that businesses have found innovative ways to serve the public through the growth of the delivery economy, as evidenced by the emergence of several online malls and food delivery apps.
“I had a presentation from the PSOJ a few nights ago which showed how delivery could be done,” he said at a media briefing on Sunday. “So, we have a subcommittee of Cabinet looking at how we could implement it. We have agreed that we will test it in a geographical area, and as soon as those details are refined, we will bring that solution to the country.”
This, the Prime Minister also stated, is the Government’s attempt to keep production going during the curfew hours.
“In doing a balancing act of controlling the spread of the virus and maintaining production, we recognise businesses in the quick-service industry, such as restaurants, are finding it very difficult. I note that the restaurant industry does not only include established stores, but also small businesses like the pan chicken man on Red Hills road, in Liguanea and in Olympic Way, they are a part of that quick-service industry,” he said.
Holness noted that the quick-service industry employs a significant number of Jamaicans and contributes to the income of many households. He also added that with the curfew in place, the loss of income in the sector is significant.
Meanwhile, the prime minister underscored that the Government and the PSOJ are working to ensure that the agreed model is inclusive and open to all.
“It is not beyond the Government to find solutions to the emergence of the delivery economy as businesses migrate online. The question for the government is how we facilitate delivery during curfew hours. Many issues would have to be resolved, like the question of equity,” said Holness.
In the meantime, the government of Jamaica also plans to make some consideration for the sports industry.
“We would like to see the resumption of sporting activities, but we would want to see it done safely,” Holness.
“We observe that the various sporting associations are coming on board with plans, but now, it would be inconsistent with the challenges that we face if we were to approve. We will still consider them and work with them to ensure that we refine the arrangements, and as soon as we are out of this danger zone, we can start to look at how we can get the sporting sector back up and running.”
Holness thanked the sporting sector for their patience as the Government works strategically to put measures in place to revamp the industry. (CMC)