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  • The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has endorsed the MSME Alliance’s discount card, which will allow consumers to enjoy savings on a wide array of goods and services from its membership.
  • Addressing the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, commended the Alliance on the introduction of the card, and appealed to larger businesses to come on board as discount providers.
  • The project is being funded by the DBJ at a cost of $2.5 million.

The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, has endorsed the Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (MSME) Alliance’s discount card, which will allow consumers to enjoy savings on a wide array of goods and services from its membership.

The card was launched on November 20, with the support of various groups, such as the Manufacturers’ Association of Jamaica, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Master Builders Association, the Small Business Association of Jamaica, and the Jamaica Association for Micro-Financing (JAMFIN), among others.

Addressing the launch at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, commended the Alliance on the introduction of the card, and appealed to larger businesses to come on board as discount providers.

“Getting our economy on a path of rob-`ust growth will need the full participation and the collective effort of the entire private sector. Building a logistics-centred economy demands an integrated network of partners across the full spectrum of our business community – micro, small, medium and large,” the Minister argued.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that in recognition of the importance of the MSME, the Government has implemented policies and legislation to specifically address needed improvements in the business environment that affects MSMEs .

“The focus of these efforts is on reducing impediments that the MSMEs face. The goal is to create an enabling environment that fosters entrepreneurship, facilitates investments, and drive business,” he said.

Mr. Hylton highlighted measures to this end, such as the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy; the Security Interest in Personal Property (SIPP) Act; and the Insolvency Act.

Additionally, the Procurement Act is currently being reviewed by Parliament. “I strongly believe that the amended Act must reflect that 15 per cent of all government procurement, must be done by MSMEs,” he stressed, noting that this is a provision of the MSME and Entrepreneurship policy that must be provided for in legislation.

Meanwhile, Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) General Manager for Strategic Services, Claudine Tracey, described the discount facility as “a very innovative, pragmatic, and potentially very impactful project.”

She noted that the DBJ is very keen on supporting intermediaries and associations that play a critical role in helping MSMEs to expand and invest.

“We seek out and partner with institutions like the MSME Alliance, whose mission coincides with the DBJ’s, in order to facilitate access to financing, increase investment and employment in the Jamaican economy,” she explained.

The project is being funded by the DBJ at a cost of $2.5 million.

President of the MSME Alliance, Donovan Wignal, noted that the card is the only one of its kind in the island, and already 100 service providers are on board, and called for more support in the venture.

Meanwhile, he encouraged MSMEs “get into the habit” of pursuing training locally and overseas in order to achieve the relevant skills to advance businesses in the sector.

Mr. Wignal also called for the meaningful training and re-culturing of Jamaicans by integrating of entrepreneurship from the early stages of the school curriculum. “We must pursue a paradigm shift…instead of creating only workers, we will start to create employers, and business ready entrepreneurs,” he added.

Persons may purchase the card at a cost of $3,000 from any station, which is a member of the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, among other entities. It will enable users to access goods and services across the island, at varied discount percentages from establishments such as hotels, spas, restaurants, automotive dealers, couriers, pharmacies and educational institutions.

 

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