Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, urges more entrepreneurs to register and formalise their businesses in order to gain access to better funding opportunities with lower interest rates.
Shaw says fomalising businesses will also give entrepreneurs a competitive edge in the local and international marketplace.
“Instead of going to borrow money at 20 and 30 per cent interest rate, ending up putting your business in more trouble than anything else and having lower productivity, low profit margins, get formal so that you can get money at less than 10 per cent,” Shaw recommended.
“It will give you a better chance to be more productive, to get more creative and to identify opportunities both on the local as well as international platforms,” he added.
The investment minister was speaking at the official launch of the National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) Export Guarantee Loan Programme, at EXIM’s Hope Road offices in St. Andrew yesterday.
The programme aims to aid small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly exporters, to access affordable financing for their businesses. The Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) will provide the loans with an 80 per cent support guarantee offered through EXIM.
However, Shaw emphazised that businesses have to be fomalised to benefit from these loans. He welcomed the partnership between JMMB and EXIM and highlighted that this will not only benefit entrepreneurs but Jamaica on a whole.
“If you are not formal, you can’t benefit from this programme we are launching today. If you are not formal, you can’t get access to the $5 billion that the Prime Minister has announced through the DBJ for small and medium-sized enterprises,” Shaw stated.
In response, JMMB CEO, Jerome Smalling says the company is happy to be a part of such great partnership and is positive about the future impacts on local companies as he believes this new venture will help them “to realise their dreams.”
In agreement, EXIM Bank Managing Director, Lisa Bell, says the programme will enable qualified businesses to partake in more export opportunities of their products and services.
“It will answer the call for Jamaican products in the diaspora,” Bell stated.
Writer- Natasha Williams