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Welcome tech boost for small business

WE are impressed with the news that the Government is ready to fund a technology boost for small businesses to offer e-commerce services for local and international sales. This news comes from Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, who announced this significant injection into the sector in partnership with the technology companies.

It is a clear win-win for all since small enterprises do not have the budgets to switch from brick and mortar to online sales platforms. It is also a win for technology companies looking to expand their services beyond the major players. And might we add another win: Government is putting our tax dollars where its mouth is in giving concentrated support to a sector with the most significant potential to generate jobs and unleash tremendous entrepreneurial growth.

All the economic data point to the increasing value of entrepreneurship as the real engine of growth. It touches a populace sector whose imagination and creative juices are clearly on show every day. Supporting this sector is the right thing to do since it brings technology benefits to commercial activity’s broadest reaches.

As Minister Clarke shared in a radio interview, this move introduces a democracy of commercial activity that touches so many lives, from the street seller to the craft producer. It also facilitates easy access to the unbanked cadre of customers who are now only attracting the major financial institutions’ attention.

If we are to draw from our North American neighbours, this is a progressive idea converted into action, building the foundation for a resilient future. For too long the impression has been that the Government is more concerned with responding to the monied classes’ demands than to the disadvantages faced by those in the lower economic grouping. Thus, this move by the minister of finance confirms that the Government is not just listening but analysing issues and coming up with relevant solutions.

It also shows that the Government is determined to provide a stimulus to the economy, expecting to build resilience to cushion future shocks.

The new reality for small businesses is that they must move aggressively to repurpose their embryonic companies with the tools to produce better and serve their customers at home and abroad. Thus, this timely offer from the Government should be readily accessed.

We are pleased to see technology firms responding to the opportunity to expand their services to a sector that could be the future of immense business growth.

There is no doubt that Jamaica’s economic landscape is ripe for this trend considering the impactof e-commerce on the level of employment by expanding opportunities, enhancing skills and encouraging product development for both our home and foreign markets. With this move, Brand Jamaica is set to get a significant boost.