Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the Government is not relying solely on mega projects to grow the economy, but is also investing in areas such as small and micro businesses, as these are important in achieving economic growth.
Dr. Phillips told journalists at a post budget news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, on Friday (May 3), that the Government has committed significant sums to the small and micro business sector through various initiatives in the budget.
These he noted include: $2 billion, through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the US$20 million to be used in facilitating the construction of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centres, from which these businesses will also benefit.
He further noted that the sector will also benefit from commitments in Agro Parks as well as from sustained low interest rates through fiscal consolidation. The latter, he said, would “provide the incentives to the hundreds of thousands of small medium and large investors to get into the act of producing.”
Dr. Phillips announced on April 18, as he opened the 2013/14 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, that the DBJ would commit $2 billion to the micro and small business sector this year, to ensure that some 12,250 enterprises can gain access to credit through its network of intermediaries. This is a significant increase over the $650 million that was disbursed in 850 loans in the last financial year.
He had also announced that the DBJ would help to increase the number of institutions that are extending credit to micro and small enterprises.
Contact Andrea Braham