A total of 404 local economic initiatives (LEIs) have benefited from business support services provided under the Local Economic Development Support Programme.
This resulted in the generation of jobs for 1,659 persons, inclusive of 189 youth.
A total of 840 of these persons gained full-time employment, 542 were employed part-time, while 277 were engaged seasonally.
This is contained in the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s 2020 Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2020, which was tabled in the House of Representatives recently.
A total of 52 capacity-building sessions were also held with over 398 community members and grassroot entrepreneurs, and 96 civil society organisations/LEIs.
The training covered business idea development, management principles and entrepreneurship, costing and pricing, business registration, social media marketing, product development, financial planning, basic bookkeeping, and packaging and labelling.
The document further noted that additional work undertaken with selected LEIs resulted in the preparation of 52 business models and 21 business plans.
Approximately $3.8 million in funding support was also provided for six project proposals.
The grants were secured through the Digicel Foundation, Tourism Enhancement Fund and Tourism Product Development Company.
Meanwhile, a total of 62 business fairs were held, 20 of which took place between January and March 2020.
However, the model for these engagements was revised in response to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on communities’ economic base.
“This change saw the business fair concept being merged with a farmers’ market component, and 42 community market and business fairs were held in 32 communities islandwide,” the Survey outlined.
The participants included 326 grassroots community enterprises, 440 farmers, 111 vendors and 25 distributors, with earnings generated totalling just under $66 million.