PRESS RELEASE – JAN. 29, 2016
ST. THOMAS IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
St. Thomas Mobile Business ClinicHundreds of St. Thomas residents descended on the Rudolph Elder Park, Morant Bay on January 28, 2016, for the 11th stop of the islandwide Mobile Business Clinic organized by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) to provide business support services through one-on-one consultations and workshops.
The successful event left approximately 300 future and current entrepreneurs better educated on how they may go about starting a business from the idea stage and also growing their existing businesses. JBDC CEO, Valerie Veira shared her hope for the parish through the MBCI, as the organization intends to address the business development needs of the parish. “We want to see this parish thrive. The response to this clinic is arguably one of the best that we’ve seen since we began more than a year ago. Our preliminary data from the National Needs Assessment Survey revealed that businesses located in St. Thomas are in significant need of technical assistance in key areas of business development including financial management, information technology and marketing. Therefore, we designed a programme to specifically address those needs today,” she said.
Taking a first-hand approach in reaching out to the residents of his home soil through the event, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton referenced the new USD$384 million South Coast Highway which is expected to provide many opportunities and realize a “New Golden Age” for the parish. The Highway, which has been planned for eastern Jamaica, is to bypass the town of White Horses, St Thomas, to the south, along the sea coast, rather than to the north. His Worship the Mayor, Councilor Ludlow Mathison urged MSMEs in attendance to take advantage of the opportunity for business development through the efforts of the JBDC, so they may flourish to their full potential.
Various organizations on board with the MBCI were also present and expressed their appreciation to the merged efforts of JBDC and The Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce (MIIC) in assisting Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in St. Thomas and their gratefulness to be a part of what Branch Manager of NCB Morant Bay, Neil Campbell refers to as a “history making period”.
The Mobile Business Clinic is being implemented in all 14 parishes over a three-year period under the theme ‘strengthening the capacity of Jamaican MSMEs’. Visits to the parishes St. Catherine and Kingston & St. Andrew over the next two months will signal the conclusion of year one.