Business
JM | Aug 17, 2022

JMEA pushing for more small business operators to join association

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

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The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is pushing for an expansion of membership among micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

The JMEA, which is Jamaica’s leading industry association, currently boasts more than 70 per cent of members operating micro, small and medium businesses.

Speaking today (August 17) at Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances’ launch of its newest flavours, Sheneecia Salmon, senior trade policy officer at the JMEA, said the association was an advocate for micro, small and medium businesses, providing financial and export assistance.

Salmon encouraged small businesses to join, noting that “not because your company is three to five persons you might say ‘it doesn’t make sense I become a part of an association. My company is too small’. No, that is when you should become a part of the JMEA. Because what we do is we have mentorship engagements with our smaller manufacturers and larger manufacturers,” said Salmon.

Benefits of becoming a member

Through this mentorship programme, smaller businesses can put forth challenges they are facing and receive guidance from the larger businesses in the association.

Salmon also shared that the JMEA assists small businesses with market research, enabling them to tap into unsaturated markets.

Sheneecia Salmon, senior trade policy officer of the JMEA.

“We also give you access to who are the wholesalers and importers of the market because that is how you will be able to get your product from Jamaica into other countries,” added Salmon.

The JMEA is also a member of various national, regional and international stakeholder meetings, workshops and conversations.

From these meeting they are able to keep abreast of what is going on in the market and how it may affect their members, said Salmon.

That information is then relayed to members of their association.

“Being a part of the JMEA allows you to have access to that kind of protection. If you are outside of the association, there is really no way we can contact you,” she noted.

How to become a member

The JMEA currently offers two categories of membership – associate members and ordinary members.

Associate members provide a service while ordinary members manufacture products.

Businesses that are applying must have a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) and a registered business when sending in applications. The application forms can be found here.

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