…or they can be shut down
By Ramona Luthi
All businesses operating within Georgetown are now required to have a Sanitation Certificate which is now being issued by the Public Health Department attached to the Mayor and City Council on South road, before “they can properly carry on business within the city.”
Failure to have this document in their possession can result in businesses being shut down. This is according to Town Clerk, Royston King during a press conference on Friday.
Speaking to iNews, King explained that this certificate applies for all businesses, highlighting that even the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has begun requesting same from various entities.
“We know that the Guyana Revenue Authority is now requesting this certificate before they issue any licence to businesses whether those businesses are lumber yards, sawmills or hardware stores,” he said while warning that “we can actually close those businesses down. They would not be permitted to operate in the city unless they have the sanitation certificate.”
The Town Clerk explained that this “Sanitation Certificate is to verify that our inspectors have visited, have inspected the premises for proper washrooms and other sanitary facilities [and] proper and adequate ventilation and allied things.”
He posited that some businesses have already begun to apply for same, but through the media, City Hall is hoping to inform the others since according to him, the Municipality will commence issuance from Monday, January 8 2018.
“Some businesses have already started applying for it and we are now putting all businesses on notice that they must have their Sanitation Certificate before they operate…As of Monday next, we will be issuing those certificates,” he assured.
King asserted that after applying for the Certificate, business owners will receive a preliminary certificate from the Public Health Department, after which they will be required to visit the Office of the Town Clerk at City Hall to receive the “proper certificate.”
He said that the entities are expected to post the document in a “conspicuous place in their building, on their premises so that when our public health inspectors visit they can see it and they can verify that they [businesses] have been properly inspected.”
Furthermore, the process of applying for the Certificate will allow the Council insight as to which entities have not paid their general rates.
“We have people who are operating in the city, doing business in the city and they are not paying the city council their rates. Again, this is wrong, we have pensioners coming, we have very poor people coming into pay their pennies into the coffers and so these businesses must also pay their due to the city.,” he said.
King is also calling on members of the public to report businesses who do not have their Sanitation Certificates in plain sight, noting that the measure is for “their [public’s] own good and their own health.”