Merriman's Mall vendors energised by CWC prospects
- form committee to enhance surroundings

Kaieteur News
February 13, 2007

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The vendors of Merriman's Mall at Bourda are aggressively pursuing a face lift for the facility at a time when “all hands are on deck” to restore Georgetown to a state of environmental friendliness for Cricket World Cup (CWC).

As such the vendors have formed themselves into a committee and are soliciting the assistance of the corporate community in an effort to raise fund to realise this venture.

Committee member Carol Lindie told this newspaper that letters have been sent to a number of private entities soliciting their help for the supply of building materials for their cause.

Lindie further explained that in an effort to acquire additional funds the committee has decided to synchronise a ‘Mall Day' with the usual Mashramani activity.

She however noted that the activity would warrant a pre-preparation of the mall, such as painting of bridges, weeding, cleaning of the trenches, parapets and placing bins etc.

“Generally, we are just trying to enhance the aesthetics of the mall so that we might attract patronage. The present environmental standard has drastically affected business for us,” Lindie said.

She also divulged plans for the erection of two large welcome signs at the Alexander and Orange Walk entrances.

A few weeks ago, the committee approached the Georgetown Enhancement Secretariat of the City Council in an effort to solicit assistance, but was told that the council did not have money.

Head of the Secretariat Rufus Lewis told Kaieteur News that the secretariat is involved in a number of activities for the CWC which will see the parapets and drains adjacent to the mall being cleaned. However the sprucing up of the mall does not fall on the secretariat's list of priorities. Lewis however committed to advocating on their behalf with the business community.

Lindie expressed the view that the area has long been neglected by the municipality in terms of works being carried out. She also lamented the fact that the patronage to the facility has been very slow, forcing many vendors to close their stalls. “There are vendors who go home at the end of the day without a single sale and at this point we are hoping that we get in on some of the anticipated patronage during the CWC.”

Meanwhile, a number of the vendors are seizing the initiative on their own and have begun repainting, and repairing their stalls.

“I can't wait on the city council, so I put my hand in my pocket and extending, and repainting my stall as well as cleaning the area around it … whole year we don't get much sales and I'll be darned if I miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during the World Cup,” one vendor said.

One of the deterrents to patronage is the location of the mall and the spate of robberies to shoppers which it is believed are perpetuated by the many ‘junkies' that frequent the area.