Business clinic stops in Sav
Chad Bryan, Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is reporting positive feedback from the second phase of the Mobile Business Clinic initiative, which was held in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, from last Tuesday to Thursday.
In November last year, through a partnership between the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the JBDC and partners in the public and private sectors, a series of mobile clinics was launched in western Jamaica. The first stop was in Montego Bay, St James.
Corporate communications manager at the JBDC, Keneshia Nooks, said more than 200 persons turned out for the Savanna-la-Mar visit.
"It went well. We had RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) included, because we identified a number of farmers who were entrepreneurs and business people in the area. So we brought on RADA to conduct a workshop for persons who had that interest, and it went pretty well," she said.
Nooks was quick to point out that the turnout could have been better, but it is expected that the initiative will continue to grow.
"People are now looking out for us at the various stops. It's a good look for the country and entrepreneurs," she said.
She also pointed out that the 2014 Nissan Urvan vehicle, donated by Fidelity Motors to aid with the mobile clinic initiative, was effective. The vehicle had been retrofitted to boast office capabilities, providing technical and capacity support to entrepreneurs.
"It's being used for consultation. We use it for the filling out of forms and for performing online activities and to print forms," Nooks said.
In stock form, before being retrofitted, the Urvan 16-seater cost $4.9 million. It is well suited for the clinics, which require a combination of optimum fuel efficiency, power, capacity and manoeuvrability.
After retrofitting, the cost is $5.5 million. The vehicle is now equipped with a wide-screen television, printer capabilities, LED lighting for the interior, drawers, cabinets and other storage space, Wi-Fi, a generator that enables the use of four to five laptop computers simultaneously, and a fire extinguisher, among other equipment.
During the Savanna-la-mar visit, several topics were discussed with entrepreneurs.
Among those which Nooks named were "business opportunities in agro-possessing, marketing for small businesses, because that was one of the things identified that persons needed - the tax myth and the logistics centre of the economy".
She added that the JBDC has set a target of having 150 persons entered in a business monitoring programme in order to help and observe them grow and develop their businesses.