Sat | Feb 22, 2020

MSMEs urged to take advantage of gov't's $multi-billion stimulus

Published:Sunday | March 24, 2019 | 1:05 PM
Winston Lawson, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Winston Lawson, is urging micro, small and medium-sized businesses in St James, to take advantage of the recently announced $14 billion stimulus package.

“We encourage our members and the small and medium business community who will directly benefit from the stimulus to allocate the surpluses back in your businesses to allow for further growth and development,” Lawson said.

He was speaking at the Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation (JDIC) public forum and financial fair held at the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, on March 7, announced, among other measures, the abolition of the minimum business tax and the asset tax for non-financial businesses, which becomes effective on April 1.

In addition, there will be an increase in the annual General Consumption Tax (GCT) threshold to $10 million, up from the current $3 million.

Lawson noted that the measures, are a welcome stimulus to micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

“Like all stimulus, its biggest effect on our economy and all of us will be how we spend the surpluses obtained as a result,” he stated.

The JDIC public forum and financial fair was held under the theme: ‘Empowering Today’s Financial Consumer for the Future’.

The event was held in partnership with the Bank of Jamaica, Financial Services Commission, Jamaica Stock Exchange, Consumer Affairs Commission and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Businesses were able to participate in discussions on topics such as Deposit Insurance Protection, Financial Inclusion, Combating Unregulated Financial Organisation and Understanding the Stock Market.

Chief Executive Officer of the JDIC, Antoinette McKain, noted that the public forum was held as part of initiatives to mark the institution’s 20 years of operations.

 “In this 20th year of the evolution, we see JDIC’s mandate ultimately facilitating the inclusion of the widest breath of our population in the formal financial system and having the protection that you require to confidently save and carry out all your financial transactions without fear of the lost of your monies,” she stated.

The JDIC was created by the Government of Jamaica to protect depositors and promote stability and confidence in Jamaica’s financial system.

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