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Shaw encourages small businesses to get formal


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May 2018
 

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Audley Shaw (3rd left), in dialogue with (from left) Permanent Secretary at MICAF, Donovan Stanberry; Country Representative, Organization of American States (OAS), Jeanelle van GlaanenWeygel; CEO, Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira; Executive Director, South West Texas Border, SBDC Network, Albert Salgado; and Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica, Milverton Reynolds, at the Courtyard Marriott hotel, New Kingston, on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Occasion was a CEO Breakfast Forum hosted by MICAF in collaboration with the OAS and JBDC, under the theme “Creative and Innovative Financing Strategies for the MSME Sector”.

Above Body

 02 May 2018    communications   

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging businesses in the Micro, Small and Medium (MSME) sector to formalise their operations in order to access the necessary low interest funds to grow their businesses.
“Formality, formality, formality and transparency,” Minister Shaw told stakeholders at a CEO breakfast forum held May 2 at the COURTYARD Marriott hotel in Kingston, were the critical factors for MSMEs to access better interest rates.
The CEO breakfast forum, which attracted heads of financial institutions and the leadership of small business development organisations, was organised by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in partnership with the Organisation of American States and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation under the Caribbean Small Business Development Center Programme to examine Creative and Innovative Financing Strategies for the MSME Sector.
Lamenting the fact that although MSMEs accounted for 97% of businesses in Jamaica only 18% were able to access formal credit, Minister Shaw said that accessing investment funds was militating against improved competitiveness, productivity and greater access to the export market.

The challenges of high interest rates, the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister said, had to be addressed and in this regard, Government was pursuing several initiatives to find solutions.
Among the solutions, Minister Shaw said, was the proposal for establishing a Micro Stock Exchange, which would allow for equity financing for businesses valued from $5M to $50M.
In addition, there were plans to utilise dormant funds to aid in funding the sector as well as a new public procurement policy to allow for a guaranteed percentage of use of goods and services offered by the small business sector.
Minister Shaw also stressed the need for partnerships and collaboration between small manufacturing companies and big businesses similar to the mother farm/satellite farm model used in the agricultural sector.
Jamaica’s manufacturing sector, Minister Shaw said, was “awesomely full of potential” and urged greater vertical integration between the agricultural and manufacturing sectors to facilitate expansion of production for the export market.

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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.

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