JAMAICA | Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Anthony Hylton, wants Gov't to Help MSMEs digitize their business
KINGSTON, Jamaica June 7, 2021 - : The Opposition Spokesman on Industry, Investment and Global Logistics, Mr Anthony Hylton, M.P., is calling on the Minister of Finance to end the delay in the $1 Billion Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) fund to assist Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) to finance digitalisation of their businesses.
In a statement today, Mr Hylton said that the DBJ assistance was promised during the 2021/22 Budget presentation. He noted that it is now June, the end of the first quarter, and no mention of distribution has been made.
He said that several formalised businesses were already approved for the ”Go Digital” programme but remain without access to funds. Mr Hylton explained that under the Go Digital programme, MSMEs should receive a voucher entitling them to DBJ loans of up to $800,000 at an interest rate of 2%.
“Over the past several weeks, business owners have been asking when the programme will be on stream. Go Digital was seen as a hope for many enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic. They took action to ensure that they qualified for the programme and are now being set back operationally because of delays in disbursement of funds’, Mr Hylton said.
The Opposition Spokesman said it has now become urgent for the Minister of Finance to honour his commitment to MSMEs. Many of these businesses are experiencing serious challenges due to the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA). Consequently, Mr Hylton said that he looks forward to a prompt announcement and implementation of the programme by the Minister.