- Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is again calling on small business owners to formalise their operations, in order to benefit from the various initiatives put in place by the Government to ensure their growth and development.
- The Minister noted that several Government agencies, like the JBDC and the Companies Office of Jamaica (CoJ), are available to help persons with starting or growing a business.
- The initiative has already been held in seven parishes.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is again calling on small business owners to formalise their operations, in order to benefit from the various initiatives put in place by the Government to ensure their growth and development.
He was speaking at a Mobile Business Clinic Initiative (MBCI) event hosted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) on Tuesday (Aug.18), at the Duhaney Park Community Centre in St. Andrew.
Mr. Hylton said that while he understands that some persons engage in informal businesses out of necessity, just to survive, “if you expect to go beyond (a) mere hand-to-mouth existence, then you have to formalise the business”.
He noted that formalising a business is essential, especially as it pertains to acquiring financing. He pointed out as well that without certain documents, such as a Tax Payer Registration Number (TRN), one cannot start a formal operation. Importantly, persons have to first acquire a birth certificate in order to attain the TRN.
The Minister noted that several Government agencies, like the JBDC and the Companies Office of Jamaica (CoJ), are available to help persons with starting or growing a business.
Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira, said through the intervention in Duhaney Park, the Government is providing “inclusive support” to small businesses in the area.
“We know that while we do the national thing and we go out to parishes and so on, sometimes, we have to get to the smaller groups, and we know that in this community, there are numerous enterprises that we need to bring onboard,” she pointed out.
She noted that the JBDC, along with several partner agencies, are on hand to “hold the hands of those enterprises that are about to start to do it right,” and move from “doing a ting and a hustling” to being full-fledged entrepreneurs.
Ms. Veira informed that during the business clinic, the participants will be guided on how to get properly registered, understand the standards to operate legally and also how to prepare to apply for financing.
“We are all here to support and guide and to listen for any needs that we are not fulfilling as partner agencies and how we can correct and provide the support that it truly required for everybody in this area,” she said.
During the event, several workshops were held, which focused on business planning essentials; business registration; record management; food safety in business; and taxes and business. A presentation was also made on the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative. Persons also benefited from one-on-one consultations.
The Mobile Business Clinic Initiative, which was launched by the Industry Ministry in September last year, is an island-wide project, which decentralise business development services, geared at reaching a wider group of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in new and existing industries and sectors.
The programme, which is being implemented over three years by the JBDC, seeks to facilitate business formalisation market access and market entry; increase awareness of business development services, provide training, capacity development and technical support; promote sound entrepreneurial practices through public education; and sensitise MSMEs about the Government’s reform agenda.
MBCI is being carried out via mobile office units that offer a full suite of business development support, in addition to services offered by the GOJ agencies including Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Consumer Affairs Commission, Jamaica Logistics Hub, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Companies Office of Jamaica, Tax Administration Jamaica, Food Storage and Infestation Division.
The initiative has already been held in seven parishes.