In and around the month of June of each year, Craft Traders and artisans who are shop holders in a Craft Market are expected to submit their relevant documents for licensing. It is the law, that in order to sell craft in a designated market the shop holder must be licensed and the assistant must have a valid ID card. Without this licence persons may be charged for selling craft.
Most Craft Parks/Markets locally and internationally require their shop holders to stick to an agreement or code of conduct which also specifies having a valid business operator’s licence to sell craft. The license protects the shop holder, because it says that the seller is compliant with the laws of the country and understands the way to conduct himself/herself in the craft space.
The licence is also important because it is to keep out people who do not understand the importance of doing business in an ethical, honest and fair manner. The licence also tells the customer that the products being sold meet a specified standard because the seller is someone of integrity.
Overall the licensing period is the time when you should evaluate your business, take a moment to review your accounts, check your inventory, review your shop displays, clean out old stock and replenish, perhaps have sales to get rid of old, slow moving stock.
Here are a few tips about preparing yourself for this time of the year:
- Ensure that you keep your rent receipts in a safe, waterproof folder and that these receipts are properly stamped and up to date and are stored where they can be easily accessed.
- Do not wait until the last minute to register for a Team Jamaica programme in your area. The Team Jamaica programme runs all year and you can register at a time when it is not too busy.
- When you have finished training and received your certificate, make a copy and put it away safely. Then laminate the original certificate and put it up on the wall, displaying it so that others – especially customers can see it.
- Ensure that you know your local community tourism liaison officer and where possible the senior officer in charge at your local station.
- Ensure that your association dues are paid to your executive management committee, and attend at least one meeting to keep in touch with the news relevant to growing the business in your market. Ensure that you get a receipt for payment of dues and store these safely.
- Ensure that your shop is cleaned, tidied and prepared for inspection in the marketplace. Your name & contact number should be clearly displayed in the shop and also by a name badge on your uniform.
- If you are a maker as well as a trader, ensure that your tools are in good condition and take stock of new items you may need.
- Look into yourself and see if there are any areas that you may need to personally upgrade your skills, and seek out training programmes which may be useful to you.
- Speak with your Quality Control Officer from TPDCO because this is their primary function to assist you to be there very best representation of Jamaica and Jamaican Craft offering
- You are Jamaica to the world and together we can make a positive difference to the sector.