FCJ to provide space for businesses
Approximately 20 small and medium-sized businesses are to benefit from 30,000 square feet of space at the Factories Corporation of Jamaica's (FCJ) Hayes Industrial Estate in Hayes, Clarendon.
FCJ, which is now on a drive to create new space for small and medium-size businesses, has identified the location following complaints from the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) and the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) about the unavailability of dedicated space for their members.
FCJ representatives, including Chairman Lyttleton 'Tanny' Shirley, Managing Director Dr Donald Farquharson, along with JMA Executive Director Imega Breeze McNab, Director Catherine Goodall and SBAJ President Hugh Johnson, conducted a tour of the facility on Tuesday.
The JMA has vowed to make the partnership a success.
According to the JMA executive director, the JMA is committed to it.
"We look forward to working with you. We have a time frame of no more than six months to get this going. We represent over 150 members that employ less than 10 persons. We know their needs and wants and factory space comes up always in the top three. And if we can make this happen, we know that we are moving ahead," said Breeze McNab.
LOCATION IS KEY
Shirley believes the location is conducive to manufacturing.
"With the right persons here, a lot could be made of this complex to nationalise it, so that big companies can see what small businesses are doing here," he said.
In the meantime, the SBAJ president commended FCJ for its new thrust in facilitating small businesses.
"I am happy to see the direction in which FCJ is heading. This will redound to the benefit of our members," said Johnson.
In response, Shirley said FCJ should be the great facilitator in making things happen. He has committed FCJ's support, but was adamant that it has to be a team approach.
"We are looking at this in a multifaceted way. If we are going to be branded as the facilitator, it has to be long-term and continuous, where other groups will benefit. While we are paying attention to the big projects, we are thinking of the small projects and achieving both concurrently."
Following the tour, a decision was made to establish a working group comprising representatives from FCJ, JMA and the SBAJ. The group will develop the selection criteria for those who will be offered space at a concessionary rate. It will also decide on the concessionary level to be provided.
The group will also assess the shared services requirements, identify space requirements for each candidate and the types of businesses to be accommodated.