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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many small businesses to suffer losses in sales, greatly attributed to the curfew that has been in effect for some time. In an effort to recoup those sales, the Government of Jamaica in partnership with the PSOJ has proposed a solution, ENDS, which is short for E-Commerce National Delivery System.
This project enables business continuity during curfew hours, allowing any business or vendor to connect to, and leverage the islandwide network of delivery solutions to have their goods transported to clients.
This solution isn’t limited to only businesses and vendors but also provides an opportunity for licensed delivery drivers to capitalize on the numerous opportunities for profit ENDS provides.
According to the Jamaica Information Service, an estimated over 2500 Jamaicans have already returned to productivity during curfew hours.
The pilot of the ENDS program saw Kingston & St. Andrew leading the way with close to sixty registered and approved, compliant businesses followed by the Portmore Municipality and St. James with thirty active companies each.
As of May 2021, ENDS operations have started their expansion to include all fourteen parishes, meaning that so far businesses in most parishes of Jamaica can participate in this initiative.
Benefits of Using ENDS
ENDS is very inclusive and allows for all businesses, whether vendors, small businesses or corporations to register and have access to a wide customer base
The payment goes directly into your bank account.
Businesses will be able to continue operations during curfew hours and continue up to midnight. (No worries about the curfew)
Delivery companies also benefit from the extended hours and numerous opportunities to profit.
The ENDS platform is expanding from solely Kingston & St. Andrew and Portmore into all fourteen parishes.
More informal operators are now moving into the formal economy as they are regularizing their business operations.
How do I get started as a Small Business Owner?
You can get started by visiting the ENDS website. On the site, you have two options available:
COVID-19 Delivery Passport Registration
You can sign up for the platform by registering using your business.
First, the ENDS website will require the details of your business including:
Tax Registration Number (TRN)
Trade License Number
Business Document Number
Secondly, your profile as an owner will be completed, some of the details needed include:
A front-facing image of yourself
Additionally, the site will require your business’s address.
Lastly, you will need to enter the information of any employees that work for your organization. There is no limit to the number of employees that can be added. For each, you just need to include their:
Tax Registration Number (TRN)
Food Handler’s Permit Number
Food Handler’s Expiry Date
Alternatively, you can sign up through one of the many E-Commerce providers listed on their site if you don’t have a site of your own. Some of these E-Commerce providers include:
National Commercial Bank
Each provider has its own website with a different registration process. When the desired provider is selected, the funds gained are deposited directly into your account. A bank account is required when signing up using either Passport Registration or E-Commerce Providers.
How do I get started as a Driver?
Potential delivery drivers have the option of registering their service on ENDS with the Passport Registration selection. All you need to complete the signup process is the following information:
A Front Facing Image of Yourself
Driver’s License Number
Both the company name and URL are not mandatory, but the site will require further information such as:
Address, including City and Parish
A Photo of Your Vehicle
Vehicle Ownership (Personal or Company)
Vehicle License Plate Number
Vehicle Type (Car or Bike)
All applications, whether for a small business or a driver will be processed within five working days.
Approval for vendors and businesses is done via the Ministry of Local Government, through the respective municipalities. While drivers are approved by the Ministry of Transport and Mining through the Transport Authority.
Once approval is granted, a unique QR Code will be sent to the email address used in the sign-up process. This code can be stored digitally or printed.
The platform will also display the list of businesses that a customer can patronize during the curfew hours.
We view the ENDS program as a stepping stone to where we’re going as a country. Of course, it has the direct benefit right now of allowing people to order food & groceries when they can’t be on the road, but more than that it represents a big stimulus to the delivery economy. It’s going to be a shift in the way people think about what they typically have to leave home for, and maybe food or groceries will be scratched off that list.
Small Business Portal is designed to ensure businesses are matched with opportunities, and it’s especially important to us that the small and medium-sized businesses go digital. This is one of the reasons that through the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, we participated in the launch of the PSOJ’s Let’s Go Digital Conference in March 2021.