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Limited access to loans, crime major issues for small business owners

Published:Friday | May 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/Staff Reporter
Harold Davis

Limited access to financing, and crime, continue to be major threats to small business owners, but with appropriate planning, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) believes entrepreneurs can overcome these impediments.

While the organisation is currently in dialogue with a number of traditional and non-traditional financial institutions to look at how entrepreneurs can get financing, deputy chief executive officer at the JBDC, Harold Davis, feels that business owners need to be more strategic.

"Many times entrepreneurs access finance that is not appropriate for them, for where they are, for the business that they are in," he told editors and reporters during a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street, Kingston, offices, last Friday.

"If you are going to be operating a business in this particular environment, and I don't mean fiscal environment alone, you have to understand how it is that you are going to be operating for success," he said.




In an effort to educate entrepreneurs about how to access and utilise funding appropriately, the JBDC plans to have a presentation on how they can connect to capital and fund business growth during its annual Small Business Expo and Conference on May 16.

"While we are saying that there is not enough appropriate financing, we also recognise that we have to prepare persons more efficiently for them to enter that conversation, because you can't have a bank account and expect to get a loan when you don't have a history of managing funds," said chief executive officer of the JBDC, Valerie Veira.

Veira said issues concerning security are outside of the organisation's purview, but it's a concern that is constantly being raised by the entrepreneurs with whom the JBDC interfaces.

"You have the little lady who takes the loan and she have her goat them that are supposed to drop kid soon and then she wakes up and all of them gone, as we have seen on TV and elsewhere," she said.