MSME operators encouraged to engage more in business continuity management
Principal Director in the Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprise (MSME) Division in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Oral Shaw, has called on operators in the sector to engage more in business continuity management and disaster risk reduction.
Speaking at a Business Continuity Workshop at The Knutsford Court Hotel on Monday, Shaw said that MSMEs account for 70 to 85 per cent of investments in the private sector, and many of them are not engaging in business continuity management and disaster risk-reduction practices.
He said that if these preparations are not put in place for them to survive after natural disasters, especially with the effects of climate change, some national development goals will not be achieved.
"It is very important that we safeguard this sector because of the contribution and importance to national development. There are about 500 million MSMEs globally, of which approximately 85 per cent are in emerging markets, including Jamaica and the region," Shaw noted.
"By the very nature of being an MSME, they are more susceptible to disasters due to their limited resources and capacities to bounce back from disasters. They are constrained by financial, human resource, and technological deficiencies," he added.
Shaw said that the MSME Division in the ministry is currently collecting data that will assist them in creating policy measures needed to make MSMEs more disaster-resilient.
"Business continuity manage-ment is very instrumental for you in safeguarding your businesses from a disaster and, ultimately, helping to retain jobs for people and reducing adverse socio-economic impacts. Likewise, there are several reasons for engaging in disaster risk reduction," he told the participants.
Shaw called on members of MSMEs to respond to these simple questions and provide the information to the MSME Division, which will help with the policy measures they are currently drafting.
These questions are:
1. To what extent has your business experienced disasters, and do you consider your business ready to deal with disasters?
2. What level of business continuity preparedness measures are you going to put in place?
3. What are some of the challenges you are encountering in practising business continuity management?
4. What kinds of assistance do you require in implementing effective business continuity management?
"Those inputs can be very important for some policy measures that we are putting together in terms of assisting the MSME sector this fiscal year," Shaw said.
The workshop was held under the theme 'Positioning our MSMEs to be disaster-resilient'.