The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is resolved to ensuring the business sector survives the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic while supporting the care of patients experiencing is debilitating effects.
The Chamber’s board members are leading in putting together a number of initiatives to support the wider community and to uphold members.
Following an appeal to members for assistance, last week the Chamber was able to present the Cornwall Regional Hospital with monitors and other personal protection equipment (PPE) valued at $3.5 million.
It has also targeted donation of care packages for 10,000 in poor communities under a “Love Thy Neighbour” project, which has oversight by the Chamber’s company secretary, Chumu Paris, and administered under the watchful eyes of pastor, Rev Everton Jackson and his team of representatives from the beneficiary communities, because “we don’t want this to be political at all,” says MBCCI President, Janet Silvera.
The business sector is contributing to the “Love Thy Neighbour” project and the first 1,000 care packages were distributed last week.
Further to that, “We also have a project where we’re working with the elderly and the poor relief; we’re going to try to get vitamins for them because we know that building the immune system is extremely important and a lot of the older people don’t have access to vitamins,” says Silvera. The vitamins project is to cost $1.3 million.
On a wider scale, there’s a “Mask MoBay” project to be launched. Silvera says it has been observed that while a lot of people have been wearing masks, many do not know how to wear them and how to protect themselves when taking off the mask. Therefore, the Chamber of commerce will be producing a number of educational videos for public circulation showing how to handle a face mask under the present order.
There’s also a drive on to get a number of business people to sponsor persons who may not be able to afford purchasing a mask as chamber is encouraging the wearing of masks by everyone in the city and to do so effectively.
On the business side, the chamber has embarked upon a number of initiatives designed to assist the Montego Bay sector to be better able to cope with the current pandemic with three workshops planned for members.
Silvera says MBCCI is partnering with the University of the West Indies Western Jamaica Campus on these workshops to prepare the business sector mentally for what’s happening now, and how to get back on its feet once the green light is given that the worst of the pandemic has passed.
The mental workshop will be led by a Clinical Psychologist and the other two will look at the economy and entrepreneurship with Angela Whitter spearheading. These workshops are being spearheaded by directors of the chamber but with resource persons drawn from the university.