Mon | Oct 18, 2021

Growth & Jobs | After 35 years, entrepreneur has no regrets

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2021 | 12:14 AM
 Rosemarie Maragh tends to some of the items she has on sale while one of her employees look on.
Rosemarie Maragh tends to some of the items she has on sale while one of her employees look on.
Rosemarie Maragh poses with Jamaica National Small Business Loans communication and client services manager Kimberly Atkinson at one of her locations in downtown, Kingston.
Rosemarie Maragh poses with Jamaica National Small Business Loans communication and client services manager Kimberly Atkinson at one of her locations in downtown, Kingston.
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After more than 35 years as an entrepreneur, Rosemarie Maragh has no regrets that she chose entrepreneurship as her career path.

Maragh sells clothing for babies and adults; shoes, and beauty products; as well as other items in the busy downtown Kingston shopping district. She became an entrepreneur after seeing members of her family improve their quality of life by selling items downtown.

“My mother, sister and aunts were entrepreneurs who would travel to countries such as Haiti, Panama and Curaçao to buy items, which they would bring back home to sell. At the time, the price of a ticket to Panama was $600. I was introduced to it as something from which I could make a livelihood and I decided to do it,” Maragh shared.

In the early days, Maragh operated from the Pearnel Charles Arcade. Later, she relocated to the Oxford Mall, where she has been for the past 10 years. During this time, she developed a loyal customer base and now has additional stalls which provide employment for other persons.

“My customers come from all over Jamaica and they buy things from me whether wholesale or retail,” she said. “Many come during the week; but I find that weekends are the best periods for sales.”

Despite her success, she has encountered several challenges.

“Since I relocated here, I have had to deal with seven fires, which set me back. There is also the occasional flare up of violence, which also affects me. But, with the assistance of JN Small Business Loans, I have been able to recover each time,” she explained. “Whenever I am affected by a fire, they provide me with counselling, moratoriums on my loans; and other forms of assistance to help me to recover.”

The Kingston-born resident sees the assistance from JNSBL as being important in assisting her to achieve her dreams.

ASSISTANCE

“JNSBL has really been there for me,” she said. “I have been able to grow from operating two stalls to now owning four, with their assistance. They have also assisted me with funding, whenever I need to order new stock from the United States of America. They have been there for me whenever I need them.”

She has also learned the importance of being able to access credit.

“It is good to be able to receive assistance whenever you need it. Sometimes, as a small business operator, I do not have enough funds to make purchases;and, if I did not have a relationship with JNSBL, I would not be able to meet my customer’s needs. That is why I believe that obtaining credit is important,” she stated.

Gillian Hyde, general manager, JNSBL, explained that the company continues to support entrepreneurship because of its commitment to improve the lives of its clients.

“A part of our mission is to provide support to Jamaicans, to enable them to provide for their families; and improve their quality of life. Since Miss Maragh began her relationship with us, she has been able to grow her operations, despite the challenges she has faced. We are proud of her and will continue to assist where possible,” Hyde noted.

The mother of seven is proud of what she has been able to achieve, during the period of time that she has been selling in downtown, Kingston.

“I have been able to send my seven children to school. One is doing his PhD in the United States of America; and another is a manager in the USA. I have also been able to own a home, and plan for rainy day. That is why I would recommend entrepreneurship as one way to make a living, because you can see your way out and achieve your goals, if you are disciplined,” she said.