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JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Yamaja Engines Limited, distributors of Yamaha marine equipment, to provide up to $1.5 million in loan funding for fisher folk and other marine interests to purchase engines and other apparatus for boats.

The MOU was signed at the Yamaja Engines offices at 35 Lady Musgrave Road, St. Andrew on September 10.

“The MOU means a lot for both sets of clients who are in the fishing industry. It will give persons who want to pursue a career in fishing the opportunity to start, and grow  their operations by purchasing new equipment, or a chance to obtain the financing,” said Mrs. Thelma Yong, deputy general manager, JNSBL.

Mrs. Yong explained that the Yamaha brand of engines were the preferred equipment for persons in the fisheries sector because of its reliability.

“Whenever we speak to fisher folk about how and where to go for equipment they always say Yamaha. This means that as a brand Yamaha offers value and this MoU means that when they conduct transactions with Yamaja they will have the opportunity to benefit from the added option of financing,” she added.

Under the terms of the MoU, clients will benefit from a product designed for fisher folk who will be able to access up to $1.5 million in loan funding. Workshops and seminars will also be to educate participants about the loan product and begin the loan application process.

Mr. Brandon Samms, director at Yamaja Engines Limited said his company is pleased to be a part of the agreement with JNSBL because it now provided his clients with the opportunity to access financing for purchases.

“One of the biggest problems that commercial fisher folk face is access to capital. We do our best to assist where ever possible. Another challenge they face is that they use an older boat with an older engine because they can’t afford a new one. What happens is that they end up spending more maintaining that older boat than if they got a new one,” he explained.

“If they had the financing they would have taken the opportunity to purchase new equipment and end up spending less. We are looking forward to giving more opportunities to access new boats and engines,” he added.

Based on the terms of the MoU, Yamaja will also provide basic JNSBL loan details to its customers; and refer prospective clients to JNSBL, with invoices to support their loan requirements. The company will also be required to provide feedback to JNSBL as to how to improve the loan product.

“We’ve always had customers coming to us asking us about financing and we weren’t able to assist them in this regard. We are looking forward to the opportunity to assist our clients,” he added.

Yamaja Engines Ltd is located at 35 Lady Musgrave Road, Saint Andrew and has been operating in Jamaica since 1975. Yamaja Engines Limited is an official sales and service provider of the “Yamaha” branded marine equipment including outboard motors, fishing boats and related accessories and supplies. Its services contribute to the development of industries such as fishery, commercial boaters and marine leisure.

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