Mobile Business Clinic launch sees good turnout
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation's (JBDC) Mobile Business Clinic Initiative, which is aimed at providing business-development tips to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), saw a sizable turnout of persons during its inaugural launch in Montego Bay, St James, last week.
The business exposition, which was launched outside the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, is the start of a three-year islandwide project geared towards offering business development and technical support to MSMEs. Last week's expo ran for three days, ending on Thursday.
For most of the first day, as noted by JBDC chief executive officer, Valerie Veira, patrons at the event showed interest in the information being delivered by the JBDC's partner organisations in the expo, which included the National Commercial Bank (NCB), the Ministry of Industry's Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, the Consumer Affairs Commission, and the Development Bank of Jamaica.
"We never even imagined that we would have such a consistent crowd," Veira said of the initial response by patrons to the launch. "This is the first cut of the programme, and this morning people are consistently coming in and asking questions, and talking with the agencies."
Veira added that the JBDC's effort to help the growth of MSMEs in St James would not end with the conclusion of the Mobile Business Clinic initiative's three-day stint in the parish.
"This initiative is for three days, but I want to make the point that it is not three days and then we are gone. It is planting some roots for JBDC ... (and) for the agencies that are on the team to come back and do follow up work," said Veira.
Representatives of the JBDC's partner agencies noted that the feedback of St James patrons to the expo was largely positive.
"There is a lot of interest, especially from persons who want to start or expand their businesses and their cash flow," said Julian Forbes, business development representative from NBC.
Kimberly Trowers, a food storage inspector attached to the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, suggested that the initiative should be extended for the benefit of small business owners.
"This is a starting point, but they (JBDC) will need to see if they can extend the programme a bit more for the small business operators," said Trowers. "The feedback has been good, and it was a good turnout ... it is a good initiative, and it will be great if they have it every year."