Sat | Dec 5, 2020

JMMB hosts seminar for small business owners

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:18 AM
Danielle Terrelonge
Danielle Terrelonge

Tax and marketing experts have urged the small business sector to get the fundamentals right in the start-up and early phase of their businesses, which will ­enable them to access financing and other technical support as their businesses grow.

Tax expert Merrick Saddler of Taxwise, during a recent seminar hosted by the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), highlighted two key areas of taxation that affect all small businesses, including income and general consumption tax.

“It is critical for entrepreneurs to understand basic taxation principles, as ignorance of the various tax laws does not exempt them from being liable for payment of the ­applicable taxes,” Saddler said.

“Good record-keeping of the relevant documents, such as invoices, banking transactions, receipts, and using good accounting principles to manage expenditure and income, can assist entrepreneurs to more accurately determine the amount of tax payable to the relevant authorities,” he added.

CLARITY ESSENTIAL

According to Sadler, clear financial management is essential, against the background of the self-reporting approach used by the tax administration in Jamaica, whereby the burden is placed on the business owner to pay the ­relevant tax.

In explaining the principle of income tax, the tax consultant outlined that this is applicable to all disbursements and expenses wholly and exclusively incurred in acquiring or generating the income for the business.

He cautioned, however, that personal ­property that is used by business owners for dual purposes could not be attributed as a business expense.

Communication consultant and managing director of DRT Communications, Danielle Terrelonge, who also participated in the seminar, shared key pointers for entrepreneurs to improve their businesses.

Terrelonge also highlighted a few marketing fundamentals including the importance for business owners to be clear about the objectives for their business.

“Identify a few initiatives that align with your business objectives, which speak to your target audience, and focus on those, refining the initiatives as needed. There is no success in life if there is no measurement. This will help you to determine whether or not you have met your business objective,” she said.

The JMMB Group and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) also used the occasion to share insight about capacity-building and financing opportunities and guidelines they offer, respectively, to assist small businesses to overcome the challenges identified, and open doors to access financing.

Shani Duncan-Falconer, senior corporate manager, JMMB’s SME Resource Centre, introduced the supporting services and expertise available to the budding ­entrepreneurs through the recently launched JMMB SME Resource Centre and JMMB Bank.

Duncan-Falconer detailed a range of resources that these entrepreneurs could take advantage of, through the SME Resource Centre, including financial opportunities, by way of grant funding, expertise in business plan writing, creation of financial statements, and access to other resources, such as the Branson Centre’s online ­learning platform and mentoring.

DBJ representative Kerry-Ann Parker also detailed the ­financing solutions provided by her ­organisation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including ­technical vouchers, for capacity-building services, grants and loans with partial guarantee to help SMEs to access financing from commercial institutions, and ­venture funding.