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$100m Independence allocation will generate income for small businesses -- Ministry

Friday, July 26, 2013 | 11:55 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Ministry of Youth and Culture today said the Government’s allocation of $100 million to the Emancipation and Independence celebrations for 2013 will generate revenues for medium, small and micro business across the country. 

According to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Sydney Bartley the staging of such events should be seen as much more than leisure or entertainment activities, but rather as part of a creative industry which generates jobs and other opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans.

“As an industry, several things are happening: there are persons working and they get that work whenever the creative industry has an event.  When the Government is celebrating Independence, dancers, musicians, bands, sound system operators, hairdressers, vendors and many others are employed”, he said.

Many of the participants in these activities are from inner-city communities and they look forward to the staging of the ‘Emancipendence’ events primarily because of the potential to earn. In many instances these occasional events are their only source of income, Bartley said.

The Permanent Secretary argued that the staging of events such as the Grand Gala provides a financial boost to businesses, performers and skilled technicians and therefore represents an investment in the Jamaican economy.

Speaking at the recent launch of Emancipation and Independence celebrations, Youth and Culture Minister Lisa Hanna said that the Government was aware of the economic challenges that the country is facing and as such the celebrations will be held within the context of fiscal responsibility and done within budget.

“The Government in general, and specifically, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, recognises the importance of staging these celebrations as a part of the programme for economic and social restoration. It has been manifested time and time again that we are at our best when we celebrate the achievement of our nation,” Hanna said.

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