SDC to Showcase Downtown Manufacturers

Photo: Contributed Pieces of work by participants in the Furniture Fair scheduled for Saturday, September 30, at Emancipation Park.

Story Highlights

  • The Social Development Commission (SDC) will be hosting its inaugural Downtown Home and Furnishing Fair on September 30, to showcase furniture makers and artisans from the downtown Kingston area.
  • The fair, which is being held in collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), HEART Trust/NTA and private-sector entities, is slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
  • Speaking to JIS News, Parish Manager for the Kingston and St. Andrew SDC, Sandra Goulbourne, outlined that the initiative is one that the entity is particularly excited about, because of the opportunities for expansion and growth of the sector.

The Social Development Commission (SDC) will be hosting its inaugural Downtown Home and Furnishing Fair on September 30, to showcase furniture makers and artisans from the downtown Kingston area.

The fair, which is being held in collaboration with the National Housing Trust (NHT), the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), HEART Trust/NTA and private-sector entities, is slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.

Attendees will be able to see more than 30 furniture, home décor and accessory makers displaying their creative pieces as part of an effort to bring greater levels of exposure to the small manufacturers.

Speaking to JIS News, Parish Manager for the Kingston and St. Andrew SDC, Sandra Goulbourne, outlined that the initiative is one that the entity is particularly excited about, because of the opportunities for expansion and growth of the sector.

The selection of the venue, according to Miss Goulbourne, was done strategically to provide the participants with a platform to network with residents as well as the hotel industry in the New Kingston business district.

The event will also target homeowners who are looking for locally made creative pieces to enhance their living spaces.

She indicated that the concept was born out of a prevalence of informal woodwork businesses in the downtown Kingston area, many of which are unregistered and unregulated.

“We decided that something had to be done to help address this, as many of the businesses have great potential, and, in some cases, there are even family-run entities with prospects for expansion,” she explained.

Miss Goulbourne pointed out that an event of this nature will be a big step in the right direction. With the growth in demand for employment, she indicated that there is a clear need for individuals to be able to create their own sustainable sources of income, which will inevitably contribute to the overall economic welfare of their communities and, by extension, Jamaica.

In addition to this venture, in an effort to regularise the artisans, Miss Goulbourne noted that through partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA, the SDC has also been able to assist them in acquiring training in customer service and entrepreneurship.

They also have begun the process of becoming fully certified in joinery by the end of the year.

The SDC has been embarking on the sustainable development of communities through an emphasis on local economic development (LED), which encourages community groups and individuals to harness existing resources to create wealth.

Building on the current initiative, the Commission is expected to host the Kingston and St. Andrew Business Expo on December 3, which will seek to display the work of other industry players, such as jewellery and craft makers and agro-processors.

JIS Social