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Photo Caption: Lloyd Distant Jr (right), former President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce shares a laugh with former President of the Insurance Association of Jamaica and JN Life Insurance General Manager, Hugh Reid.

As it celebrates 245 years in 2024, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) is this year highlighting the impact of the local business sector on the Caribbean under the theme, ‘Caribbean Excellence: Celebrating Achievements, Embracing Integration’.

“We honour our businesses and individuals who have contributed to our region,” said JCC President, Phillip Ramson in his opening remarks to launch the JCC Annual Awards at the Mercedes-Benz Show Room on South Camp Road in Kingston recently.

“Tonight, we embark on a journey to recognise and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of those who have shaped the Caribbean landscape,” he said, “and acknowledge those who have demonstrated excellence and innovation.”

From left: Immediate Past President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Michael McMorris, Leesa Kow, Managing Director, JN Bank and Chair of the Caribbean Association of Banks, and JCC President, Phillip Ramson share a moment.

Jamaica’s trade with CARICOM has been improving according to data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. The data was highlighted by Leesa Kow, Managing Director of JN Bank, a gold sponsor of this year’s awards, who, in her address at the launch referred to the movement in the trade figures as a positive trend.

“It was heartening to hear last month’s report by STATIN regarding the statistical narrowing of our trade deficit with CARICOM, with the value of exports from Jamaica up by nearly 25 per cent in 2023 and value of imports from CARICOM down by 32 per cent,” she said. “And, although a large imbalance remains, we are closing the gap, and that is worthy of a toast,” she said.

Like Mr Ramson, she pointed to innovation as a major contributor to the improving gap between Jamaica and the region.

“Although I am not in possession of the data right now, I have no doubt that the creativity of our entrepreneurs over the course of the COVID pandemic played a contributing role in narrowing the gap, as some seized the opportunity to satisfy the surge in demand for sanitising and domestic household products, as well as export in agricultural produce,” she said.

Under its celebration of the Caribbean influenced theme, the JCC will honour businesses and businessowners in the categories of Best of Chamber (micro, small, medium, large and extra-large enterprise), Entrepreneur of the Year, Excellence in Marketing, and for the first time this year, it will present the ESG Award, sponsored by Carreras Limited, to the member organisation displaying the greatest commitment to balancing environmental, social and governance considerations in business practices.

Gabrielle Burgess of Suga Lifestyle collects her nominee plaque for’ Best of Chamber- Micro Enterprise’ from Soan Madden, Treasurer, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. Ms Burgess was also a nominee for Entrepreneur of the Year.

The slate of nominees for the 2024 JCC Awards, comprises:

Best of Chamber Micro Enterprise

  1. AT Consulting & Associates
  2. Charles O’Connor Consulting Network
  3. Next Step Digital Solutions
  4. Williams Offices (New Kingston) Limited- Regus
  5. Suga Lifestyle

Best of Chamber Small Enterprise

  1. ESIROM Limited
  2. Geddes Refrigeration Limited
  3. Pioneer Manufacturing Distribution Company Limited
  4. Vertis Technology Solutions Limited

Best of Chamber Medium Enterprise

  1. Barita Investments Limited
  2. Bioregeneration Integrated Medical Centre Limited
  3. Factories Corporation of Jamaica Limited
  4. Modern Power & Cooling Technology Limited

Best of Chamber Large Enterprise

  1. Brandram Henderson (W.I.) Limited
  2. Eye Q Optical Limited
  3. Ernst & Young Services Limited
  4. Jamaica Energy Partners
  5. Kingston Wharves Limited
  6. National Rums of Jamaica
  7. IGL Limited

Best of Chamber Extra-Large Enterprise

  1. GraceKennedy Limited
  2. GK General Insurance Company Limited
  3. Jamaica Producers Group Limited
  4. Seprod Limited
  5. Scotia Group Jamaica Limited
  6. The Courtleigh Hospitality Group

Entrepreneur

  1. Marcia Skervin- Connect Your Dots Limited
  2. Gabrielle Burgess- Suga Lifestyle
  3. Kemal Brown- Digita Global Marketing Limited
  4. Ryan Sterling- Vertis Technology Solution Limited
  5. Rochelle Cameron- Prescient Consulting Services Limited
  6. Alexander Morrissey- ESIROM Limited

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

  1. GraceKennedy Group
  2. Sagicor Group
  3. PwC Jamaica
  4. Digicel Jamaica Limited
  5. Red Stripe

Mr Ramson congratulated this year’s nominees for their hard work and innovation.

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce also takes this opportunity to thank sponsors of the Awards for their support and valued partnership.

“Your hard work, dedication, and innovation serve as an inspiration to us all as we continue to embrace integration and celebrate Caribbean excellence,” he concluded.

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