If you’re looking to open a beach-side business, it appears you’re out of luck — for now.
Chairman of the recently created Public Lands Commission Rupert Vasquez confirms the commission is not considering new applications for public beach vendors. It’s a situation that would-be vendor George Roper says hurts Caymanian entrepreneurs.
Cayman 27’s Kevin Morales by public beach to talk with him about the issue.
“I had applied to do a simple tourist attraction business,” Mr. Roper said. “It’s a water sports business.”
After starting the application process, he received this letter stating the Public Lands Commission is not able to consider any new applications until new regulations are in place.
“For me, that was kind of daunting,” Mr. Roper said. “Of course, I need to make a living for myself and my family so I was a little bit disappointed in that.”
Cayman 27 reached out to Mr. Vasquez and he referred us to section 39 of the 2017 Public Lands Law — the yet-to-be completed regulations which include the issuance of permits for commercial activities.
“How can you put our number one dollars earner on hold,” Mr. Roper asked. “We’re talking about our tourism product. This should be a priority, this shouldn’t be on hold.”
The issue surrounding vendors on public beaches is not new. For years, Government, police and the vendors themselves have tried to figure out a way where business people can make a living but be properly licensed.
“This is not a way of making the government look bad but just a way of trying to put some fire under the situation and trying to address it and find out why things are the way they are and see if we can make some changes in terms of getting things on track,” Mr. Roper said.
An email asking Mr. Vasquez if there’s any timeline on when the regulations will be set was not answered.
The commission noted they would keep Mr. Ropers’ details in a database of new applicants. We also asked how many people applied who are awaiting the regulations before their applications will be processed. We also did not receive an answer to that question.