Paulwell Proposes Small Business Policy


Opposition Spokesperson on Energy, Information and Communication Technology, Mr. Phillip Paulwell, has urged the Government to finalise a policy for the micro and small business enterprises.
“It is our hope that the policy is indeed progressive and that it recognises the importance of these sectors. It must address all issues, including access to a range of financial services, the legal and regulatory environment and business development support,” Mr. Paulwell said.
He also suggested that the Government establish tax thresholds, consistent with the primary sub sectors in the micro and small enterprise sector.
“This cannot be an across the board figure. There are models from the Pacific and Asia, where they set thresholds at informed and researched levels,” Mr. Paulwell said, as he spoke in the 2010/11 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (April 14).
He also encouraged the Government to ease the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on Micro Medium and Small Enterprises, in relation to the payment of electricity bills.
“At present, businesses with annual revenue less than $3 million are not registered tax payers, and so the imposition of GCT on their electricity bills hits their cash flow and bottom line. We are therefore proposing that, the first 200 kilowatt hours for small businesses be treated in the same way we treat residential customers,” Mr. Paulwell proposed.
The Opposition Spokesperson also urged the Government to let the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) be more focused on a best practice model, which will allow it to have a greater impact on a larger number of small and medium enterprises.
“In Jamaica there are over 30,000 firms which should be considered medium and small enterprises, and an additional 425,000 operations which are own account. So with these numbers, the JBDC is merely reaching one per cent. We need to look at options to increase this outreach,” Mr. Paulwell said.

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