JIS News

Senior Director in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce Douglas Webster, has said that several investors were short-changing their businesses by failing to register them, thereby losing out on available financial and professional assistance.
Mr. Webster, who is also the head of Policy, Planning, Projects and Research in the Ministry, was speaking at the opening ceremony of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Small Business Expo held on May 6 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, New Kingston.
“It is so important that businesses be registered. There are so many entrepreneurs out there: smart, savvy, highly intelligent, but informal. That really impedes you and, surely, in the context of getting assistance,” he said.
“Formalisation makes you exist, so that we can recognise you and we can help,” he explained.
Mr. Webster, who was representing Minister Karl Samuda, pointed out that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were significantly contributing to national growth.
In providing statistics with regards to MSMEs, Mr. Webster said that the sector accounts for more than one-third of national employment. He added that there are roughly 100,000 small businesses in the island.
Former Senator Floyd Morris suggested that investments in agriculture could stimulate economic growth in the nation, amid the current financial downturn.
“Agriculture has a critical role in national development and is a lucrative endeavour because everybody must eat,” he said.
Mr. Morris said that the fact that the agricultural sector employs about 20 per cent of the nation’s labour force, was evidence that it is boosting food production which could drive economic growth.
“I challenge members, within the agricultural sector, to adapt some new and different approaches towards farming and the production of agricultural produce, and utilise the services that are there at the JBDC,” he noted.
Hundreds of persons packed the hotel’s ballroom, seeking information from the more than 30 exhibitors at the expo.
Principles of Business and Office Procedure students of York Castle High described the expo as “extremely educational for young people.”
The group of fourth-formers journeyed with their educators from Brown’s Town, St. Ann, to the Corporate Area for the expo. They said they would apply what they had learned at the event in completing school based assessments.
Exhibitors included: the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Tax Administration Services Department, Bureau of Standards, Companies Office of Jamaica, Customs Department, National Commercial Bank (NCB), Churches Co-operative Credit Union, C.O.K. Co-operative Credit Union; and, several MSMEs.
The JBDC, which staged the expo under the theme: ‘Your Business, Our Business.How can we help you?’, provides business information, advice and training for clients on business issues. It also operates as a national network broker, providing links with Government and private sector agencies.