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Govt provides grant funding for small businesses in Blue and John Crow Mountains

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government is providing grant funding of J$1 million to youth, to establish small businesses in the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, says the provision, which will target young people aged 18 to 35 years, aims to stimulate their empowerment.

“We are insisting that the businesses demonstrate the use of Jamaican cultural practices and traditions in the creation of goods and services,” she said while addressing an economic opportunities workshop at Morant Villas in St Thomas on October 18.

Grange said the Government recognises that there is “glorious possibility” in the Blue and John Crow Mountains, which have been designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), adding that “we are determined to make it a reality”.

She told the forum that while efforts to get UNESCO's approval for the area covering parts of St Andrew, St Thomas, and Portland, had support from successive administrations, the role of the Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust (JCDT) was of paramount importance.

The Minister underscored that significant opportunities exist in maintaining the site for all, especially Jamaicans, where persons from across the globe can be taken on tours, to “expose them to the biodiversity (and) to immerse them into the culture of the Windward Maroons”.

Participants at the forum were exposed to presentations from the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, JN Foundation, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, University of the West Indies, Young Enterprise Scotland, FHI 360, the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies, among other stakeholders.

Grange emphasised that the workshop was geared towards equipping persons with the resources and information to “turn possibilities into reality”.

“This is why we have partnered with some of the best people who can help you to develop your business ideas from conception to implementation,” she added.

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