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Minister of Industry, Commerce & Investment, Hon. Karl Samuda, today, got a first-hand look at how some of the funds, provided under the Government stimulus package to assist the micro and small business sector, are being utilized.
Mr. Samuda was accompanied by the Minister of State in the Ministry, the Hon. Michael Stern.
They visited seven micro business clients of the Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), who have received loan funds under the stimulus package to start new, or expand existing businesses.
The funds lent out by JNSBL to the sector have been provided by the Development Bank of Jamaica(DBJ), with no special conditions other than those established by JNSBL for on-lending to the sector.
In expressing his satisfaction with the success of the projects, Mr. Samuda said he was touched by the determination of the clients to make business a way of life for them, as well as the nature of the businesses funded.
Speaking of a preschool/nursery which received loan support, he said, that education was a great liberator which can move people from abject poverty to a better quality of life.
“This is not the end, it is the beginning of a long journey for the children, but they are starting from a solid foundation which will help them make a success of their lives,” the minister said.
Among the other measures undertaken to assist micro and small business clients, is the provision of training by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation(JBDC). Mr. Samuda said that 80 per cent of those who receive training succeeded, while 60 – 80 per cent of those who do not receive training fail.
“Our emphasis in on training, giving advice, developing markets, and providing them with the facility to start off in an incubator environment, so that they can mature and move on their own”, Minister Samuda stated.
The other projects visited included a tyre repair shop, dressmaker, beauty salon, juice manufacturer, a pre-school, internet caf