BY JOY OFASIA
THE lack of affordability to meet the high cost of the room rental at the Crafts Marketing Centre at the National Art Gallery compound in Honiara was met with heavy criticism from a local craft vendor.
Craft Vendor, Mrs. Janet Ramo exclusively told Solomon Women that they have used these rooms at the Crafts Market Centre as their homes especially to accommodate, exhibit and sell their products.
The Craft Market Centre was meant for all craft vendors to use and it is a pity for us to spend a large amount of money on rentals.
“We are struggling parents who have worked very hard to support our families, and if we spend $1,000 a month for our rental – what will be left for us and our family to use?
“It is true that our products are valuable, expensive and had been made tirelessly by very skilled craftspeople that promote the different cultures in the Solomon Islands, however, it does not mean that we have to pay a big amount of money on our rentals,” she explained.
Mrs. Ramo said that their business is not like other vendor businesses that receive cash daily.
She explained that their products depend entirely on the visit of cruise ships that arrive in Honiara because that is the only time tourists can go around to visit and purchase their products.
“It’s only by luck that we received overseas and local customers, who come to buy products, but most of the time we just sit a whole day without any customers,” Mrs. Ramo said.
“I would like to call on the responsible leaders to see our concern because it has truly affected our business level of income.
“We have spent many tireless days and nights with our products and we deserve to earn an income that would satisfy us and our families,” she added.
Mrs. Ramo also mentioned that not all room rentals are $1,000.00, but other smaller rooms have cost $500.00, which is still too much for the vendors to spend on their monthly rentals.