Gov’t Pursues Initiatives to Enhance Growth of Small Business Sector


Government is pursuing several initiatives aimed at facilitating growth within the local business sector, particularly among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Industry, Commerce, and Investment Minister, Karl Samuda, said that these initiatives include the establishment of a monitoring unit and development council in the Office of the Prime Minister, which were aimed at significantly curtailing bureaucracy and other challenges encountered by current and prospective entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica’s (PSOJ) job creation awards at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston today (Jan. 22), Mr. Samuda said that a board will oversee the monitoring unit, which the Prime Minister gave the undertaking to establish at the National Planning Summit held last year in Montego Bay.
The unit, Mr. Samuda explained, was intended to provide a “structure around which a relationship between the government and the private sector can co-exist and be productive.”
“The monitoring unit would be fully and permanently staffed.working with government agencies that impact on the development of business, bringing together (the Ministries of) Agriculture, Tourism, Finance and the Public Service, and all the key ministries. That will enable businesses to have the burden removed from them in terms of unnecessary bureaucracy, (and) fast tracking activities that can get them up and running very quickly,” he outlined.
The Minister advised that the board has been put in place and the members will be announced by the Prime Minister.
Regarding the development council, Mr. Samuda said this body would “draw from the private sector, all aspects of business that pose a problem and we have deliberately sought to adopt a common sense approach. If a thing is too complicated, forget it. Get some experts.some theorists to break it down into a practical application that can work.”
“That is what we are establishing at the Office of the Prime Minister, through the development council, where any difficulty that confronts business will be brought there with all (of) the key players that can make decisions and get them made,” he added.
The Minister also announced a plan to set up incubators for business development at the community level, and underwriting the cost to small entrepreneurs to expand operations. These measures, he pointed out, would facilitate the creation of additional jobs as well as the requisite technology, machinery, and infrastructure that would enhance business growth.
“It augurs well for the future because of the support that we (at the Ministry) are receiving from the Cabinet, especially the Minister of Finance. I honestly believe that this is going to see an explosion of employment at the community level where so much talent resides,” Mr. Samuda pointed out.

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