Stakeholders in the entertainment and creative industries are being encouraged to sign up with the Government’s e-registry, in order to benefit from various incentives.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, made the call during her contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday (July 14).
“Practitioners who register with the e-registry, which is administered out of the Ministry of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport, have access to fiscal incentives; access to duty free importation of equipment related to the practice of entertainment; (and) access to grant funding for events, film, dance or music production,” Miss Grange pointed out.
The e-registry, dubbed the ‘National Registry of Entertainment and Creative Industries Practitioners’, is a database portal for listing Jamaican entertainment and creative service providers and companies. It also facilitates research and data collection for the benefit of the industry.
The e-registry is open to all sectors of the entertainment industry, including dance, animation and digital media, fashion, film, audio visual, music performing arts and visual arts.
Persons can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com in order to sign up.
Miss Grange informed that through the e-registry, the Government also assists industry practitioners with free movement benefits in terms of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy Skills Certificates and work permit attestation letters.
“We also provide some assistance with visa attestation letters,” Minister Grange added.
Persons can also benefit from the Artist Ambassador Programme, where there is access to participate in overseas entertainment and activities.
Miss Grange noted that the registry has also been crucial in supporting applications for relief through the Government’s $10-billion COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.
“We have been using the e-registry to validate that (someone) who says he’s an entertainer or entertainment practitioner is indeed a member of the industry and his application should be considered,” the Minister said.
The CARE Programme aims to provide financial assistance to workers and businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The package involves the temporary transfer of cash to individuals and businesses to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.
The Culture Minister further informed that individual registration since March has increased by more than 1,000 per cent over the similar period last year; and company registrations have increased by 87 per cent.
In the meantime, Miss Grange said the Government is also moving to further develop the Athletes Management System and Registry to give support to athletes, as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I appeal to athletes, coaches and other stakeholders in the sports sector to sign up to the registry. We have already received names and taxpayer registration numbers (TRNs) of all the players in the Premier League Clubs,” she said.
The Athletes Management System and Registry will assist in the development of policy and programmes and will help to calculate the contribution of sport to national development.
Miss Grange noted that the Government, through her Ministry, has also been working to assist vulnerable athletes to get assistance through the CARE Programme.
“For example, a number of Paralympians from the Jamaica Paralympic Association applied and received benefits through that programme,” the Minister informed.