The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), in extending more support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, said it is currently in the process of restoring a supply chain grant which it plans to offer very early in the coming year.
According to Christopher Brown, programme director of the bank’s Boosting Innovation, Growth & Entrepreneurship Ecosystems (BIGEE) project, the grant — an extension of the Jamaica Business Fund (JBF) — will help producers to strengthen sales as it ramps up local productivity, boosts exports, and helps them to tap into new markets.
The intent, he said, is for all stakeholders, including primary, secondary and tertiary producers, to forge greater linkages as they work together in creating a more efficient supply chain at the local level, especially in the wake of continued fallouts and the unavailability of raw material and goods since the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a grant that supports all of the players in the supply chain and through which the entire chain can access up to $45 million or just about US$300,000 in funds. This grant is expected to be ready by February 2023,” Brown said during a Jamaica Observer Business Forum held at the bank’s Oxford Road offices in Kingston recently.
In previous cycles of the JBF, grants as low as US$20,000 and as high as US$350,000 could be awarded per supply chain application.
The JBF was first introduced to market in about 2016 as a component of the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth (FCG) project that was established to promote economic development through inclusive growth in high-potential supply chains.
The aim of the fund was to improve productivity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the supply chain as it passes cost savings and increased output through to medium and larger buyers/anchor firms while down-streaming clients and enhancing the competitiveness of exports and import-competing products.
Key to the design of the set-up is the recognition that anchor firms present significant capacity to multiply outputs and increase incomes for all actors in the supply chain.