Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging investors to make Jamaica their place of choice to invest and do business, in a bid to boost the country’s economic recovery.
“If you are a businessman or an investor, if you are into construction or you want to open a restaurant… now is the time to do it. If you don’t invest, then there will be a recession,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Holness was speaking at the official opening of Island Grill’s new restaurant on King Street in downtown Kingston, on July 2.
“We see this [restaurant] as an investment in Jamaica’s economic recovery. The COVID crisis has had adverse economic implications for the world and for Jamaica. The $25-billion stimulus package that the Government has provided is the largest fiscal stimulus in Jamaica’s history. We have done this to build confidence in the economy at a time of global uncertainty and to provide support for those in need,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the reduction in GCT from 16.5 to 15 per cent was done in an effort to “give back” to Jamaicans.
“We did that because it was important that as we were making progress in terms of the Government’s revenues, we were seeing, at that time, growth occurring in the society, though small, that we would give back to the consumer and then the consumer we believe knows best how to spend the money in their pockets,” he said.
He noted too that the National Housing Trust (NHT) interest rates have been reduced “to give a stimulus to the construction sector, so that there is real demand for housing”.
Mr. Holness reminded all business people, small and large, that “now is the time to get back into the field, into the markets, into the construction sites, and into the offices”.
“Let’s get back to work but, of course, don’t forget to wear your masks,” the Prime Minister urged.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness lauded Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Island Grill, Thalia Lyn, and her partners for their vision and commitment to building Jamaica, particularly in light of the global pandemic.
He noted that the company now generates more than $2 billion per year in sales and accounts for more than 850 jobs.
“Businesses are closing, people are being laid off, investors are making decisions to put off their investments, but here is Thalia Lyn, going against the wave, taking a risk, opening up her store here, even though she has had to close others, and employing people, and that is what gives me the greatest thrill in being here. When I look and see the workers… my heart is warmed by that,” Mr. Holness said.
He described Island Grill as a Jamaican gem and brand, noting that the company represents the high standard, quality service and products synonymous with the Jamaican brand.
For her part, Ms. Lyn thanked all who have worked with her company over the years, noting that “we are so happy to be here”.
For his part, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, and member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the opening of the new restaurant “is a vote of confidence in downtown Kingston”.
Island Grill, a brand under Chicken Mistress Ltd. Management, is a multibillion-dollar enterprise that operates 20 restaurants across Jamaica and one in Barbados, employing a team of more than 850 members. It was founded in 1991.