Gov’t to Drive Small Business Development


Minister of State for Industry, Commerce and Investment, Michael Stern, has said that the government is seeking to drive small business development to create jobs and grow the economy.
“It is for this reason that we are evaluating programmes that target small and micro enterprises. We wish to design a realistic, practical and transparent regime of incentives, soft loans and training in order to give momentum to small business development,” Mr. Stern said.
He was addressing the media launch of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 12th annual expo today (Sept. 26) at the Altamont West Hotel in the city.
The State Minister said that the government is of the view that once a level playing field is provided, bureaucratic red tape eliminated, agencies of the state become more client-focused and business friendly, and a business nurturing environment created, Jamaicans will rise to the occasion and seize the emerging opportunities.
He noted however that, “while we emphasize business facilitation, we will not compromise probity, transparency and issues relating to standards of quality and the health and safety of the consumer. In addition, we will encourage efficiency and productivity in order to ensure competitiveness.”
The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s expo, which is slated for the Cruise Ship Terminal in the Montego Freeport from October 19 to 21, will be staged under the theme: ‘Montego Bay Expo 2007.Showcasing Jamaica and the Caribbean.’
Some 80 booths are expected to be mounted, featuring exhibits from industry and commerce, including manufactured goods, services, technology, tourism, craft, agriculture, and trade and investment opportunities.
“So it’s really to build a networking opportunity for our business persons to create business alliances, and to really showcase what we have here in Jamaica to the rest of the Caribbean, and what they have in the Caribbean that they can showcase to us,” said Chamber President, Pauline Reid.
Some $3.5 million is being budgeted for the event.

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