Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Shop operators get training before Ocho Rios Fishing Village reopening

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer

Some 25 shop operators at the renovated Ocho Rios Fishing Village, which will be opened near the end of April, have been trained in business skills in several sessions organised by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).

Institutions such as the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and the HEART Trust/NTA were utilised, with the final training session taking place last Friday at the Ocho Rios pier, where the business owners were introduced to business management.

Among the topics presented by the JBDC were sustainable business practices, introduction to financial management, and cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset.

The multimillion-dollar renovation project is almost complete, with just the retrofitting of shops and other details left before the official opening.

The business operators have reacted with enthusiasm and seem eager for the reopening as several of them had been operating at the location prior to the renovation.

"The Port Authority has done a great job. Everything they had promised so far, they have fulfilled, and we are happy to work with them. We're getting the support that we need," Christopher Lue, vice-president, Ocho Rios Fishing Village Benevolent Society, told The Gleaner.

According to Lue, the promises to train former shop owners at the beach and give them the opportunity to own businesses at the new entity are among those that have been kept.

Karen James and Eltoras Geddes are two previous occupiers at the Ocho Rios Fishing Village who have retained their spaces.

 

PLEASED WITH RENOVATION

 

James, who will operate a convenience store, said she was pleased with the renovated facility and the training offered.

"I'm pleased with it, the renovation, and the training will help me to learn more about how to do a business and make it successful," she said..

Geddes, who will operate E&J Cafe, said: "I'm hoping for good times, good business, and to step up in life."

The shop operators have signed five-year lease agreements with the PAJ, and Lue said that they simply have to honour the terms of the agreement in order to get their leases extended.

The Ocho Rios Fishing Village features a range of businesses including craft shops, convenience stores, an entertainment centre, and restaurants, with the emphasis on the serving of seafood and authentic Jamaican dishes.