Lanzarote market and street traders call for economic support

2020/06/01 09:30:05 Written by Canarian Weekly Lanzarote

The street traders in Lanzarote have asked the government for economic support for the sector, and "more flexible and realistic" conditions for the reopening of the markets due to the Covid-19 health crisis.

The group has sent a letter from the Plataforma Estatal de Comerciantes Ambulantes, the association of street merchants, of which the street vendors and market traders of Lanzarote are integrated into, to the State Government, to explain "the situation through which the approximately 40,000 holders of registered stall positions nationwide, are going through."

"Street vendors represent 8% of all retail in Spain, and generate a turnover of 2.1 billion euros. Among owners, employees, and collaborators, street vending accounts for thousands of self-employed people", they explain via the association.

They aldo state that they were "the first retail activity to close, and after more than 2 months without trading, many families have had to resort to asking for help from social organizations, despite the special benefit for cessation of activity that the Government approved, which in many cases is clearly insufficient."

Among the questions they asked the Government, one is "to extend the period of the cessation of activity and the exemption from payment of self-employed social security, until the end of this year, even though work has begun for some during the de-escalation phases, taking into account that a part of this sector doesn't earn the average of the interprofessional minimum wage monthly, especially in the Canary Islands where the arrival of tourists is going to be very little."

They are also demanding "urgent approval of a ministerial order with more flexible and realistic conditions for the reopening of the municipal markets, due to the diversity of the 3,500 locations of the markets nationwide, so that the municipalities can work together with the representatives of those affected, the most appropriate conditions for the specific situation of the market in their municipality."

Merchants believe that "the current regulations are discriminatory for street vendors compared to shops and restaurants, our restrictions are even greater, especially taking into account that being outdoors is an advantage against the pandemic, for example for masks and social distancing. Therefore, the obligations between established commerce and street commerce should be equated."

Finally in the letter, they said that, they understand the gravity of the situation, and that with social responsibility they have fulfilled all the restrictions, but the street vending sector needs help from the institution, as "we cannot wait any longer."