Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, is encouraging small business operators to access funds and training that the Government is providing, to ease the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He told JIS News that there is a commitment to ensure the “sustainability and survival” of small businesses, as they account for the majority of commerce, and the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service has made provisions for them in its COVID-19 stimulus package.
“All of our small businesses can get a grant of up to $100,000 to help them through this time, and that is in addition to the $375,000 rebate (tax credit) as part of the stimulus package that was announced by the Ministry of Finance. We are looking out for our small businesses,” Mr. Green said.
The State Minister added that it is a “good time” for small businesses to continue and expand research, looking at different product lines, especially leveraging online marketing, to strengthen their operations.
He said the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is staging a series of online training sessions for small businesses, with a focus on online presence of businesses, proper management, and intellectual property, among other topics.
“I encourage the businesses to log on to JBDC, and you can get the training, and all of this is free,” Mr. Green said.
He further added that the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) is offering a moratorium in rent to the sector, to mitigate the crisis.
“Don’t give up, it is a difficult time, but the Government is here to support them, and Jamaica will bounce back,” he said, noting that with the business sector doing the necessary adjustments, they can overcome the pandemic.