Fri | May 24, 2019

Access to financing getting easier for MSMEs, says Mahfood

Published:Sunday | April 21, 2019 | 3:07 PM
President of the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ), Hugh Johnson (right), shares in a conversation with (from left): conference committee member, Reginald Budhan; assistant general manager/chief marketing and business development officer at the JN Group, Dr Dana Dixon; and Wisynco Group Chairman, William Mahfood, at the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s second regional MSME Conference, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

It is becoming easier for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to get financing from local banks.

That's according to chairman of the Wisynco Group, William Mahfood, who said local banks are now prepared to take greater risks.

“Many banks are taking more risks and investing in small businesses across Jamaica,” Mahfood said at the second regional MSME conference held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston last week.

In the meantime, MSMEs are being encouraged to explore the possibility of raising funding through capital market options, such as the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

“The active steps include having your plan and the goal to be a listed company. Begin by keeping proper records, start to prepare a business plan, and actively surround yourselves with persons who have taken the journey and have succeeded. It can be done, and we await your entrance,” JSE managing director, Marlene Street Forrest, explained.

She was speaking at the Small Business Association of Jamaica’s (SBAJ) second regional MSME Conference, held recently at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Street Forrest noted that despite foreign exchange rate fluctuations, “we have very favourable market conditions, with business and consumer confidence high, a low rate of inflation and over- subscription in all of our Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), which signal an interest in the stock market”.

“These factors are good for business, and we believe that the MSMEs should now be engaged,” she further stated.

The conference was held to highlight new trends in business development and management; promote success stories among MSMEs; examine the MSME Policy within a macroeconomic context and its impact on business profitability; provide an interactive forum to explore opportunities for national, regional and global business collaboration; and expose participants to new technologies, research and development in agriculture, and climate smart innovation.

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