The Social Development Commission (SDC), through the Local Economic Development Support Programme, has conceptualized and established Local Economic Villages in select locations island-wide. This activity is in response to the primary strategic goals and objectives of the program, which is to “create a platform from which local economic activities/initiatives can develop.” The program also aims to bolster viable economic enterprises and shape a culture of productivity that will result in growth in the local economy, primarily at the community level.
Economic Villages are defined by SDC as “established regulated zones where small businesses, GOJ, PSOJ, CSO’s and residents converge for general networking and commercial activities”.
Ms. Avril Ranger, Director of Local Economic Development & Community Projects at SDC, shared that the strategic aim of the Economic Villages is to drive economic activity and stimulate commerce at the community level on a continuous basis. She stated that, “the economic villages will provide a space on a consistent basis for established Local Economic Initiatives (LEIs), farmers, vendors, distributions, and public and private sector organizations to network, peddle their wares, and offer general services to the public.”
Director Ranger highlighted that, before a village is established, consensus is first sought from local stakeholders, including individual parish Municipal Corporations. This is done so as to ensure that a collective dialogue is held and technical assessments are conducted as protocol dictates.
As of April 2022 to date, the Social Development has implemented / established eight (8) economic village sites across six (6) parishes, namely Portmore, St Catherine, St. Ann, Trelawny, Manchester and Clarendon. Within the same period, these established sites have hosted a combined 33 activities, which have led to direct sales in the region of two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000).
Updates regarding the location and staging of Economic Villages for 2023 and onward will be advertised on our social media platforms, and for general queries regarding participation in these activities, information can be acquired at any local SDC parish office island wide.