First Tobago enterprise to secure grant for business expansion

Minister of Trade and Industry Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon is flanked by the Honourable Kelvin Charles (right), Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, and Mr. Edward Jones (left), Managing Director of J Mac Industries Limited. (Image: MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY)

J Mac Industries Limited is the first Tobago company to receive funding from Government’s Grant Fund Facility (GFF).

Entrepreneurs, Mr. Edward Jones and Ms. Glewis Jones, Managing Directors of J Mac Industries Limited, received funding for their company’s business operations and export expansion.

J Mac Industries Limited, located in a small ‘at-home’ factory in Orange Hill, Tobago, manufactures and distributes eco-friendly detergents and dishwashing liquids under the brand “SupporT”.

The company took the decision to relocate to a larger facility and required funding to automate its processes to satisfy the increasing demand for its products. While the company currently distributes within Tobago, the expansion will facilitate increased production and distribution in Trinidad, as well as exports to seven (7) CARICOM markets and eventual product diversification.

Trade and Industry Minister, Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon, commended the company’s directors for their strategic move and overall vision.

“Now more than ever, Trinidad and Tobago requires the innovative thinking and the foresight of the business community to secure this country’s present and future economic success,” she stated. “This company’s growth trajectory is a direct product of the Directors’ business acumen, strategic vision and utilisation of Government’s business support programmes.”

J Mac Industries Limited has been able to capitalise on several Government programmes offered to the business community, including: the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Business Development Unit Loan Programme; funding from the Venture Capital Equity Fund Company Limited; and export training offered by ExporTT.

“Such programmes, including the recently expanded GFF, underscore the Government’s commitment to supporting and growing the business community,” Minister Gopee-Scoon observed.

J Mac Industries Limited has represented Tobago and showcased its products in several business shows including: the 2019 Tobago Road Show; the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association’s 2019 Trade and Investment Convention; and the 2019 Expo Caribe Trade Show held in Santiago de Cuba.

The Tobago company is the latest manufacturer to receive funding under the GFF, which offers up to a maximum of $250,000 to producers of export-oriented/import-substituting products.

The Facility was expanded in August 2019 and now makes funding available for SMEs in eight (8) different sectors, including: Financial services; Maritime services; Aviation services; Fishing and fish processing; Software design and applications; Creative Industries; Agriculture and Agro-processing; and Manufacturing.

Further information on the Grant Fund Facility can be found at https://tradeind.gov.tt/application-approval-grant-funding/