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Call for banks to aid Jamaican small businesses


JAMAICA OBSERVER

Call for banks to aid Jamaican small businesses

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SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION of Jamaica (SBAJ) president Hugh Johnson called on banks to offer more innovative lending options to small businesses.

The call was made at a SBAJ social attended by large lender, Scotiabank.

“I’m using this medium to entreat our banking sector, without compromising your investors’ assets, to please consider more amenable programmes that would be more in line with world trends, [that] are favourable to Jamaica’s small business sector,” stated Johnson in his presentation.

“We at the SBAJ fully embrace the charge that we as micro, small and medium business owners are the vehicle of growth – but without all the moving parts working together, we will not be able to operate in the way that is expected.”

Johnson, in quoting a World Bank study, stated that small and micro enterprises comprise two-thirds of the formal private sector and create 95 per cent of jobs in low-income countries.

“Therefore, we may be small, but collectively we are not the underdogs,” he indicated – but added that challenges include limited labour, management skills and limited access to financing.

Head of the SME unit at Scotiabank Debra Lopez-Spence said that her bank remains committed to growing the SME sector via providing access to financing with its $500 million SME fund launched last year; access to grant funding in collaboration with the Development Bank of Jamaica; and access to training workshops.

“We are always looking to improve the way you do business and to get you ready to access financing,” stated Lopez-Spence in her presentation.

The SBAJ was incorporated in 1974 to aid in development of the sector. (Jamaica Observer)

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