Industry minister affirms support for MSMEs
MINISTER of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton has reaffirmed the Government's commitment to the continued growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through the establishment of various policies and legislative changes.
"Government fully understands the critical role of MSMEs in the growth of the Jamaican economy and the integration of Jamaica into the global value and supply chains," the minister said.
He was speaking at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) media launch for the seventh annual Small Business Exposition and Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston last Friday.
The event will be held on May 22 at the Pegasus and will feature over 35 exhibitors from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, telecommunications, banking, accounting, transport, business, technology and shipping.
"The changes and laws underscore our commitment to supporting entrepreneurship, business growth and job creation," the minister said.
Hylton said the insolvency legislation is geared towards modernising bankruptcy laws, encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating rehabilitation of entities facing bankruptcy.
The Business Registration Form (Super Form) rolled out by the Companies Office of Jamaica in December 2013, he pointed out, is a multi-purpose form which eliminates the need to visit multiple agencies to process TRN, NIS number, GCT and NHT requirements, and expedites business start-up.
Another move which should facilitate the MSMEs is the Security Interests in Personal Property Act (SIPP) which, he said, "increases access to financing by allowing personal property (non-real estate assets) to be used as collateral for loans, to promote entrepreneurship and growth".
Integral also to the development of the sector is the MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy, which provides a coherent framework for supporting MSMEs, facilitating increased access to financing and capacity building.
"The goals of the MSME policy launched last year, are aligned to those of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, and will support MSMEs in their bid to become robust, dynamic and successful as they grow their businesses, achieve financial success, play a key role in the Jamaican economy, and strengthen Jamaica's participation in the global trading system," the minister pointed out.
Another key initiative which the minister said signals the Government's support for the sector, is Enterprise Jamaica (EJ), which is expected to provide prospective entrepreneurs with hands-on experience in entrepreneurship and innovation.
"EJ will also benefit established entrepreneurs, by providing them with exposure and training in global business best practices, using the public private partnership (PPP) model. The implementation model will be the joined-up approach, requiring the active participation of the ministry, JBDC, Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, JAMPRO and Development Bank of Jamaica, along with local and foreign private sector entities," Hylton said.
He lauded the JBDC for continuing to champion the cause of the MSMEs and spearheading various initiatives for their growth and development.
Hylton said the staging of the Small Business Expo and Conference is another medium through which the JBDC can expose the MSMEs to key industry players, while providing the opportunity for skills training and capacity building to develop their existing business and human capital functions.
"The theme for the upcoming event -- 'Positioning MSMEs for the Global Supply Chain' -- demonstrates the JBDC's understanding of the important role which MSMEs will play in the logistics-centred economy, as well as the opportunities for small businesses to partner with major transnational companies to export their goods and services," the minister explained.