JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government continues to place significant emphasis on reforming the sector in an effort to promote entrepreneurship and remove barriers hindering the establishment of small businesses.
  • The Security of Interest in Personal Property Act will increase access to credit by allowing businesses to use assets such as intellectual property for collateral.
  • The Minister was speaking at the Magna Rewards 10th Anniversary celebration dinner on October 15 at the Terra Nova Hotel, St. Andrew.

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the sustained growth and development of the local economy lies in the strength of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) sector.

He notes that, as such, the Government continues to place significant emphasis on reforming the sector in an effort to promote entrepreneurship and remove barriers hindering the establishment of small businesses.

The Minister, who was speaking at the Magna Rewards 10th Anniversary celebration dinner on October 15 at the Terra Nova Hotel, St. Andrew, said the recently passed MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy aims to establish the framework for addressing some of the impediments to small enterprise development.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation will play a critical role in transforming the local economy into one that is significantly more dynamic and robust, and one which offers growth opportunities for business enterprises,” he stated.

Other key policies, as part of the Government’s support for the sector, include the Security of Interest in Personal Property Act, which will increase access to credit by allowing businesses to use assets such as intellectual property for collateral.

Other notable improvements scheduled to come on stream include: the Insolvency Act, which will result in a reduction in the cost of failure in business, by absorbing much of the start-up risk; and the Trade Marks Act, geared at improving the business and commercial environments for the growth of creative industries.

In the meantime, the Minister congratulated Magna Rewards on its 10th anniversary, noting that “10 years in business and 10 years of providing service to the Jamaican consumer is a solid and noteworthy milestone”.

“(I commend you for being) Jamaica’s first loyalty programme, for being a trailblazer on the Jamaican business landscape and for adding value to the (spending power) of the Jamaican consumer,” he stated.

Executive Vice President at the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited., Wayne Powell, said while he was a “doubting Thomas” when Magna first approached the bank 10 years ago, he must now admit that the partnership “is the greatest thing to happen to Scotia Bank for many years”.

“When we examine the benefits that Magna has passed on to our customers, we are extremely proud of our relations with Magna,” he stated.

Chief Operating Officer, Bashco Trading Company, Elias Azan, also added to the praises, noting that collaboration with Magna was a good decision for his company. “Our customers absolutely love it, as it makes such a big difference to them, especially in today’s economy,” he said.

General Manager, Magna Rewards Caribbean, Trevor Clarke, said over the years, he has seen many loyalty programmes come and go, but the sustained success of Magna “is a testament to the strong team and partners that we have on the programme”.

He noted that the company started in Jamaica in 2003, with only a handful of partners, but 10 years later, that number has grown to over 70 partners with more than 200 locations islandwide.

“Today, Magna has over 500,000 customers and card holders in Jamaica, who annually swipe their Magna cards five million times, and that equates to sales of over $20 billion here in Jamaica, every year,” he informed.

He said the company issued over $227 million in vouchers to card holders in 2012 and, as it looks forward to the next 10 years, the team will continue to look for ways to improve the programme, to enhance the value to its customers and merchants.

Magna Rewards is a Barbadian-based electronic loyalty programme designed to reward loyal customers for shopping at partnering companies. The programme enlists retail partners from a number of industries, including finance, insurance, supermarkets, pharmacies, security and services, and motor vehicle services.