Sat | Sep 22, 2018

JNSBL assists vendors affected by Ray Ray Market fire

Published:Friday | September 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Firefighters carry out cooling down operations at the Ray Ray Market in downtown Kingston which was damaged by fire last month.

Eight vendors, who lost their entire stock when fire destroyed the Ray Ray Market in downtown Kingston on August 7, will receive support from JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) to assist them to restart their businesses.

Jacqueline Shaw-Nicholson, communication and client services manager at JNSBL, made the announcement during a meeting with the vendors, who are clients of the loan company, at the JN Conference Centre, Port Royal Street, Kingston, last week.

"We understand the challenges that you now face; however, we want to encourage and brief you about the opportunities that are available for you to rebound and, most of all, that we are here to help," Shaw-Nicholson said.

"You are a part of the JN family, and we will 'help you find a way.' Therefore, we are offering a special facility to address your current loan and will provide assistance for the purchase of new stock so that you can get your businesses back in operation," she added.

The assistance for JNBSL members affected will include the refinancing of the balance on their current loans. Vendors will also receive an additional loan amount of between 50 and 100 per cent of their previous loan sum, as well as a four-week payment holiday. They will also be eligible for a grant to rebuild their stalls.

"Under this arrangement, you will receive the grant up front to rebuild your stalls, which is also a part of the process to help you get back on your feet. In addition to the stalls, we have established a special refinancing facility, with specially discounted loan terms to include reduced interest rate and a four-week grace period on loan repayment," Shaw-Nicholson said, adding that the grant could only be accessed if persons used a JNSBL-approved carpenter.

Gillian Hyde, general manager, JNSBL, explained that the assistance demonstrated the loan company's commitment to its clients, whatever their circumstance.

"It touched my heart when I visited the location and saw the damaged area, knowing how devastating it must be to lose valuable stock during what would have been a lucrative back-to-school period," Hyde stated.

"As a company, we care about our clients, and we will be here for you. We don't have all the answers. However, we are prepared to be a part of the solution as you journey on the road to recovery," she added.

Vendor Roy McPherson who lost his entire stock in a fire for the second time within a year, welcomed the assistance from JNSBL.

"I lost everything. This is the second time that my wife and I have had an experience like this, and we simply have to put our trust in God and hope for the best. This assistance from JNSBL will help us, because I was wondering how I would repay my loan," McPherson, who sells clothes, shoes and back-to-school items, stated.