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  • The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has awarded grants totally $1.25 million to 50 businesses in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, as part of plans to boost economic activity in the area.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, presented the grants during a handover ceremony held in the community on Friday, March 22.
  • The beneficiaries were selected under the Ministry’s Economic Opportunities Workshop, which seeks to provide residents with the tools, resources and information to take advantage of their indigenous assets.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has awarded grants totally $1.25 million to 50 businesses in Accompong, St. Elizabeth, as part of plans to boost economic activity in the area.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, presented the grants during a handover ceremony held in the community on Friday, March 22.

The beneficiaries were selected under the Ministry’s Economic Opportunities Workshop, which seeks to provide residents with the tools, resources and information to take advantage of their indigenous assets.

The recipients include 33 farmers, seven shopkeepers, two restaurateurs, a beekeeper, a farm store operator, tea herbalists, welder, three artisans and a juice producer.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange (front row, fifth left) and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson (front row, fifth right), with the 50 beneficiaries and other stakeholders at the Economic Opportunities Workshop in Accompong, St Elizabeth on March 22.

 

Each person received a grant of $25,000 via a gift card that can be used at any Hardware & Lumber (H&L) Rapid True Value and H&L Agro locations across Jamaica. Among the items available with the gift card are vegetable seeds, animal feeds, pesticides, safety gear, lumber, electrical supplies, paints and accessories.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms. Grange urged the beneficiaries to take full advantage of the opportunity given to them.

“This grant that you got today is a start, so don’t waste it or throw it away. Make it work for you. This is a resource for you to…build your lives and earnings. I promised to return with meaningful contributions to help businesses in the area to develop and grow,” she stated.

“It is important that the 50 recipients who got the assistance, you make it work so others can be brought on board to benefit just like you. The support will continue as long as you prove yourself and you don’t throw away the opportunity,” she added.

Ms. Grange pointed out that the Government is committed to supporting the development of small businesses in Jamaica, in order to grow the economy and achieve prosperity.

“The mantra of this Government is prosperity. It is our guiding light and everything thing we do is to increase the levels of prosperity to all the people of Jamaica,” she noted.

This Economic Opportunities Workshop in Accompong is the latest in a series being implemented by the Ministry in various sections across the country. Approximately 500 people in the communities of the Blue and John Crow Mountain regions—Portland, St. Thomas and St. Andrew—have been targeted throughout the years.