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JIS News

Kumba Mi Yabba, the Jamaica Business Development Centre’s (JBDC) annual Christmas fair, promises to be bigger and better this year, with new and improved features, including a change in venue.
The event, which creates promotional and marketing opportunities for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Jamaica, will now be staged at its new location at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre, on Hope Road in St. Andrew.
Speaking with JIS News, Public Relations Officer at the JBDC, Sancia Campbell, informed that the change in venue from Devon House, is to accommodate the increasing number of vendors and patrons who support the event.
“The response over the years has been tremendous. Every year we find that we do not have enough space to accommodate the vendors that want to participate,” the Public Relations Officer said, adding that the new venue will be able to hold up to 200 vendors.
“Last year, we got well in excess of 10,000 persons over the three days,” Ms. Campbell pointed out, noting that “with the bigger venue we should be able to accommodate an additional 5,000.”
Other improved features, she further noted, will include an all-encompassing entertainment package for every member of the family, ranging from a fashion extravaganza, culture showcase, jazz on the lawns, carol service, to performances from top Rising Stars and local artistes.
“We are putting together an exciting entertainment package that will run from day till night so that everyone that comes through to purchase authentic Jamaican products, will be thoroughly entertained,” she said.
Other attractions include: a kiddies village with face painting, clowns, rides, and giveaways.
The fair, now in its eighth year, will be staged from December 19 to 21, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, free of cost.
As it relates to the benefits of staging such an event, Ms. Campbell informed that Kumba Mi Yabba, provides a platform for local producers and manufacturers of innovative and indigenous products and services, to showcase their merchandise. Additionally, the show provides a medium for entrepreneurs to access a wider market, both locally and overseas.
She pointed out that vendors for the event are screened and have to go through a series of training sessions to get them ready for the event. The products, she added, also have to be tested to ensure that they meet international standards.
“With over 5,000 clients, we have a limited amount of space so we wouldn’t be able to accommodate everybody. We go through a training process first, where we deal with development and presentation of products, then, there is a selection process to ensure that the best products are chosen,” she explained.
Kumba Mi Yabba 2008, will showcase a wide range of authentic Jamaican products, including ceramic items, paintings, carvings, household accessories, aromatherapy items, clothing, accessories, and local cuisines.
“Persons should attend Kumba Mi Yabba, because it is the biggest Christmas fair in the island,” Ms. Campbell highlighted, noting that the event provides a medium where persons can build the Jamaican economy, by purchasing authentic local products while supporting the small business sector.