WATCH: Highlights of 2017 Safety Pledge Playing QB for Denton Guyer

first_imgOklahoma State’s lone commitment at safety for the 2017 class Thabo Mwaniki is more than just a secondary defender. He’s also the backup quarterback for Texas power Denton Guyer. And after QB1 went down two weeks ago with a minor injury, Mwaniki, who is a freak athlete with a surprisingly strong arm, got the start at QB.Check out some of the highlights of Mwaniki playing signal-caller and filling in to lead his team to a 35-23 win over Wylie. He finished the game with 19 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, and also added 13 yards through the air on 6-of-9 passing.Highlights via Scout.com While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Does Oklahoma State Control Its Own Big 12 Title Destiny?

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The common thread running through Stillwater on Saturday was, “we back, baby.” OSU is back in the thick of the Big 12 title race after erasing WVU’s perfect 6-0 record in magnificent fashion. Despite losing to Baylor at the end of September, the Cowboys, now 4-1 in Big 12 play, could still make a late-season run through the conference for their first Big 12 crown since 2011.OSU got more good news later in the day as Texas beat Baylor 35-34 in Austin. This actually got the biggest cheer of the night at our live podcast! So that left OU as the lone undefeated team in conference play.Here is a look at the current standings with four Big 12 games remaining for the Cowboys.screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-14-07-pmSo what is OSU’s path to the Big 12 title? Does it control its own destiny?Unfortunately the answer to that second question is no. If Baylor wins out it would be 8-1 with wins over OU, WVU and OSU. No matter what any other Big 12 team accomplished, it could not surpass Baylor. However, Baylor still has road games against West Virginia and OU and home games against TCU and Kansas State so it would be pretty stunning if they won out.So what is OSU’s path to at least playing Bedlam for the Big 12 title for the fourth time in six years? It’s pretty simple. Root for OU or WVU (or anyone) to beat Baylor and win out yourself.The reality here is that for OSU to win the Big 12, it is probably going to have to beat OU in Norman for the crown. OU only has four conference games left (at ISU, at WVU, home for Baylor and home for OSU). For OSU to win the Big 12 without beating OU, OU would have to lose its other three conference games (which isn’t happening).Even if OU comes into Bedlam at 8-0 in conference play, as long as OSU is 7-1 it can take the Big 12 title because it would have the head-to-head win over Bob Stoops and Co.Essentially you don’t care if OU wins or loses its next three games but you have to get a loss in there somewhere from Baylor. And you have to win all three of your own games (which you apparently won’t be favored in — OSU is a three-point dog to KSU this weekend).If you lose one of those three, you’re probably cooked. There’s still a path if you lose, say this weekend in Manhattan, but it’s a messy one. It involves a lot of tiebreakers and stuff that we don’t need to get into until that actually happens.Plus every Big 12 champ since 2011 when the league went to 10 teams has gone 8-1 in conference play. OU is looking like it is set on continuing that trend (or improving upon it), but now there’s a real chance OSU could be a factor in the Sooners’ fate come December 3.last_img read more

Mike Gundy Praises Saturday’s Crowd for Creating ‘Big-Time Home Field Advantage’

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. In Mike Gundy’s press conference on Monday, he made it a point to thanks the students and fans for their presence Saturday, calling them “tremendous.”“I’d like to start today by thanking the students and our fans one more time for their involvement in our game,” Gundy said to open his presser. “They were tremendous. In the latter part of the game, there were times where we needed that support. I could hear it as a coach, so I know our players could. I heard them mention it. They’ve been tremendous, but to be there in the end means a lot for our team. The students were awesome, so it gave me an opportunity to thank them after the game, but I know our players really appreciated their support, and we felt like we had a big-time home field advantage. I wanted to thank them for that.”No doubt the crowd, which has received criticism for leaving early at times in the past, was rewarded for staying. They got to see their team knock off No. 10 West Virginia, and the head ball coach made it a priority after the game to celebrate with the crowd in style:Mike Gundy put on a fire hat to celebrate. pic.twitter.com/rWpbMQQ6nG— Kendrick Marshall (@KD_Marshall) October 29, 2016“Coach Gundy always says to play to the crowd and use it to our advantage and that’s what we did on Saturday,” offensive lineman Zach Crabtree added. “When that place is packed to the rim, and when you’re down on the field and look up and see that there’s students all the way up to that top wall. It’s loud and it’s rocking and it just gives us an opportunity to feed off of that constant energy. When it’s full, teams don’t want to come here and play. That was the case on Saturday and it really helps us to create that home-field advantage and use it to our benefit.”last_img read more

Why I Want Ohio State And Oklahoma State To Win Out

first_imgAlabama: 11-1Florida: 11-1Auburn: 12-1Georgia: 13-0Are you telling me Alabama and Auburn are getting left out of the CFB Playoff because they didn’t win their conference? Please. So you can see if you take this out to its extreme end point, the lunacy prevails. Can you imagine the revolt if all four of these teams were included and four other conference champions were not? Or vice versa? And if this is true, then why even have conferences? Why not tell teams “go play whoever you want and we’ll sort it all out at the end”?This is where I actually feel sort of bad for OU. What if OU had played, say, Pittsburgh at home in a non-conference game instead of Ohio State? It would probably be in the top six with a clear path to the Playoff, right? So it gets punished for playing Ohio State early in the season before it was fully formed as a team? It is going to win 16 straight Big 12 games and miss the CFB Playoff? That’s crazy.There is a disincentive for teams to play big-time non-conference games right now, and that stinks because we need more OU-Ohio State in our lives. That was everything college football should be about. Of course there is a simple solution to all of this, and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham mentioned it on Wednesday morning: Eight teams.Utah’s Kyle Whittingham tells @outkick CFB playoff should be expanded to 8 teams & all five major conference champs should get auto bids.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 16, 2016This solves so many issues. Every conference would always get a team and you would provide a life raft for, say, Ohio State this year which should definitely make any sort of postseason tournament college football puts on. The regular season would be still be incredibly meaningful (maybe even more so) because teams like Oklahoma State and West Virginia would know they’re still alive for the national championship.To not let conference champs settle things is to let your biases take over as a governing body. It’s impossible to help this — it always will be. So you have to let games be games and wins and losses decide national champions.There would still be arguments about the Nos. 8-9-10 teams which is great because arguments are part of what makes all of this supremely enjoyable. But there would also be a clear path to the playoff. Win your conference. That’s it. And if you’re elite but somehow didn’t win your conference, we’ll pick you up as one of the three wildcard teams. Plus you could throw in the random Boise St. or Western Michigan and see what happens.Let the top four teams (I’m actually fine if the committee sorts them out) play home games to emphasize the importance of finishing strong in the regular season. This incentivizes teams to play elite non-conference schedules if they want to (doesn’t matter if you lose) and enhances the postseason conference bragging rights match-ups. That’s the best you could send at our conference champ, ACC?It almost makes too much sense.Do I want this playoff to eventually expand to 16 teams? I do not. And if it doesn’t include all conference champions then I am in favor of moving the North Texas’ and Texas States to a different division altogether. But I also don’t want it to stay at just four teams.Because while four is better than two and the CFB Playoff is far better than the BCS for that reason, there still is not a clear and unadulterated path to playing for the national championship trophy. And is that what we want college football to be, Nick Saban?No, it is not. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oklahoma State is currently overrated by the CFB Playoff committee. How’s that for a lede? I do not think Oklahoma State is the 11th best team in the country. It should not be ranked in the top 11 even though that is where OSU was ranked on Tuesday evening by the CFB Playoff committee.I’m not the only one who thinks this, either, if the goal is to determine the best teams. Vegas doesn’t think so either (and this is part of my broader point which I’ll get into in a minute). First, here’s a look at how Vegas would rank the teams.Vegas Rankings compared to Playoff Committee Rankings … pic.twitter.com/NDV0kgkada— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) November 16, 2016With all my cards on the table there, can we put aside for a minute that I’m writing this as a piece of Oklahoma State propaganda? I simply want to look at the logic behind crowning a national champion in the second-most popular sport in the United States.The CFB Playoff committee’s intended goal is to find the four best teams in the country every year. We looked at this yesterday. That’s a worthwhile goal. A worthy cause. And Oklahoma State has certainly not proven itself to be in that four (or eight, or even 12) so far this season … yet. It just hasn’t happened.You can’t play Central Michigan, Texas Tech, Kansas State and Iowa State to within one possession and expect to be considered one of the best. You just can’t. If the committee was choosing “most resilient” or “best at playing above its talent level” or “teams with coaches with the best hair” then maybe OSU is in the top four. But not right now. No reasonable person would argue that OSU is even one of the 10 best teams in the country, much less four.But the reality is that OSU still has a very clear path to win its conference championship. Beat TCU. Beat OU. Big 12 champions. That’s the simplicity of it. It is a straightforward 120 minutes to hoisting its second Big 12 trophy in six seasons. Then what? Probably nothing. A Sugar Bowl against Auburn.As it stands right now, there is a scenario where No. 2 Ohio State could win out, get to 11-1, lose its division, not play for its conference championship and still make the CFB Playoff. It would be the first time a non-champion got in the Playoff (and it would be well deserved based on the committee’s criteria of “best teams”).Conference champions matter, until they dont with Ohio State. #CollegeFootballPlayoff— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) November 16, 2016This is actually what I want to happen. I want both Oklahoma State and Ohio State to win out and for Penn State to win the Big 10.I want the committee to have to look at the two OSUs — one that won its conference and the other that didn’t win its division — and pick the one that didn’t win its division. I badly want that to happen because I think it’s the thing that would effect change. It would be 2016’s version of 2011 all over again.My issue is not with the committee. I think they do a very good job (biases aside). My issue is not with Ohio State. They are pretty obviously one of the three best teams in the country.My issue is with the process. The process being to pick the four best teams in the country. This seems like a reasonable way to go about things, doesn’t it? Just pick the teams that are best. But it creates a thicket of issues when trying to measure inequitable schedules and performances across 128 teams. It’s an exercise in absurdity, and it is getting more difficult.My real issue, I suppose, is with the power structure I see slipping from the Big 12. You almost have to go 12-0 as a non-OU or non-Texas Big 12 team to even be considered for the CFB Playoff. As the perception that the Big 12 stinks pervades among college football fans everywhere, this idea will only be exacerbated.This goes to my point about North Texas yesterday — why are they even in the same division of football as Alabama when they can never win the national championship? What are they playing for? I ask the same about the Big 12 — what are they playing for? If you’re saying “these are the five conferences that matter — this is who we’re picking from” but then don’t pick a Big 12 team because all the other Big 12 teams stink, then why even include them in the exercise? Oklahoma can’t change how putrid Kansas and Iowa State are.So should the choices be the “best” teams or “most deserving based on what happened on the field”? Because right now the CFP Playoff committee literally has a clause in its intended purpose that states that injuries should be taken into account when determining the best teams. This is outrageous. Here is that clause.Other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.What?! This is insane. Injuries are part of football. You are trying to have the best of both worlds here, and it’s silliness. You might as well let Vegas decide which teams are “best” if that’s what you’re going for.Consider the following illustration. I like to take scenarios out to their natural end to reveal the lunacy inherent in a structure that is built on shaky ground.What if next year Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Florida all play three elite non-conference games and win them all by three touchdowns? Then what if they all run through their SEC schedules and finish 11-0 before they face each other in the final SEC game of the year. What if Auburn beats Alabama in a thriller and Georgia does the same to Florida. And then Georgia beats Auburn in the SEC title game so that you have the following:last_img read more

Where Is Oklahoma State’s Missing Return Game?

first_imgA chance to leave his markBarry J. Sanders carried loads of promise coming into this fall. There were high hopes for the son of a Hall-of-Famer. Some of us had him penciled in as the would-be starter at running back. Yet here we are at Bedlam and he has just 26 rushing attempts in 11 games.Sanders has found his way onto the top of the depth chart at both punt and kick returner.We saw flashes early this season, including the 57-yard punt return that was reviewed but determined to be short of the goal line. That was Week 1.After he had the crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium chanting his name, huge plays in the return game would certainly be the norm. Unfortunately, no other return has come close and after two muffed punts, some Cowboys fans were calling for the grad-transfer to be benched.Sanders is averaging a respectable 12.6 per punt return but his kickoff return average of 20.9 is the lowest of a lead OSU kick returner in nine-plus years. That’s a far cry from following in his dad’s footsteps.But according to Mike Gundy’s Bedlam depth chart, Sanders is still slotted for the No. 1 spot at both return jobs. Can he finally make that play? We know he has the ability. Now, with his college career coming to an end and a Big 12 title on the line, maybe Sanders finally break one loose and leave his mark on OSU history. In 2012, OU wide receiver Jalen Saunders dashed Cowboy hopes with an 81-yard punt return score helping the Sooners pull off the overtime win. Saunders followed up the next year in Stillwater with a 64-yard punt return for a touchdown in OU’s 33-24 winOf course, one of the most memorable punt returns in OSU history occurred the last time the Cowboys traveled to Norman. Former Cowboy and Kansas City Chief rookie Tyreek Hill fielded Bob Stoops’ errant re-punt and went house to tie the game late. You know how the rest goes. That one play helped change the course of OSU football from then until now. Perrish Cox. Dez Bryant. Justin Gilbert. Jost Stewart. Dare I say, Tyreek Hill?Oklahoma State has had its fair share of dynamic return men in recent history. Any one of these players could flip the momentum of an entire game in one otherwise innocuous play.So, what’s happened? Over the last couple of years, the Cowboys have struggled to find a game-changer in the return game. In fact, for the first time in quite a while OSU does not have a single return touchdown, either kickoff or punt. See below.osureturntdsNote: Miketavius Jones’ blocked punt/recover and score against Kansas last year counts as a punt return.Since this is Bedlam week, I would be remiss to ignore some of the big return plays that have shaped this rivalry as of late. Justin Gilbert nearly stole Bedlam in 2010 with his kick return.#Bedlam pic.twitter.com/2esMaIvBM5— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 30, 2016center_img While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Patrick Macon Named NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Cowboys are going to be without a few important pieces next year. The linebacker group, especially, will take a hit, losing key contributors Jordan Burton and Devante Averette.But Glenn Spencer’s got a little help coming in the way of Patrick Macon, the juco-transfer who committed to Oklahoma State last week and has since signed his letter of intent.The sophomore from Arizona Western College was also just named as the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year. He is a playmaker and was the star of one of the best defenses among the juco ranks.Macon’s impressive 27.5 (!) tackles for loss led the nation this season. He had a career game with 16 tackles (13 solo), five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles against Phoenix (Ariz.) earlier this season.Macon is just the next in a line of defensive contributors that OSU has brought in from the juco ranks. He should come right in and compete for a playing time and his experience will be needed with a relatively young linebacker corps.last_img read more

10 months agoPogba, Woodward & Ole: Why last 24hrs shows all that’s wrong at Man Utd

first_imgPogba, Woodward & Ole: Why last 24hrs shows all that’s wrong at Man Utdby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCOMMENT: So now the dust has settled. Are you happy Manchester United fans? With the distractions? The bright lights. The jangly keys. Look up here. The club legend. The 75m quid bid. Just be satisfied and don’t delve too deep……because if you do, the last 24 hours – even AFTER Jose Mourinho’s dismissal – will tell you all that is wrong with this club. It’s just staggering. Absolutely staggering. A £75m bid prepared for Douglas Costa, Juventus’s Brazilian attacker. So trumpeted one of the red tops on Wednesday morning. Nigh celebrated. And without a hint of irony.This wasn’t Mourinho’s parting deal. It wasn’t set up by any incoming football director. No. This is Ed Woodward’s project. The vice-chairman exec – apparently – informing Mourinho days before the axe that they were moving for Douglas Costa. Not that centre-half Mourinho craved. Not the player to shore up a defence which has conceded more goals at this stage of the season than the entire last campaign. No, no. All that money – which Woodward refused Mourinho last summer when expressing concern about his back four – now committed to another attacking player. An attacking player who has struggled to get off the bench at Juve this season.So the manager’s gone. Replaced by a Treble hero. A nice distraction. Another bit of filler to cover the ever widening cracks. The Douglas Costa revelation a mind-blower. But Woodward’s no Robinson Crusoe here.Paul Pogba had get in on the act also. The ego is back and where it thrives best – on social media. Again, it’s just staggering. Given the moment. The history. The emotion around his manager’s dismissal. Pogba felt the need to take to social media and inject himself into the story. Zero humility. Zero self-awareness. A silly, classless post. And they still say he is a leader of men. But that’s just it. Like with Woodward and his transfer fantasies, who is there inside the dressing room to pull Pogba up? To tell him that’s not the behaviour of a Manchester United player? Clearly no-one. Especially with the one man prepared to confront the Frenchman now out on his ear. The club. It’s reputation. Again it takes a backseat to Pogba’s indulgence. Oh, of course there’s since been a convenient ‘media briefing’ that he will be fined for his antics. But nothing official. Nothing from Woodward publicly admonishing the player. Oh no, perish the thought of one of the top brass putting their name and face to a club decision.Just as we saw with the Champions League draw. No-one was available for a reaction to the PSG pairing. No quotes from the club about what lay ahead. No willingness to engage with the support. But it’s par for the course at United.Just contrast that to what we’ve seen from Arsenal this season. The importing of the football nous of Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi is one thing. But the willingness for Sanllehi and new managing director Vinai Venkatesham to offer regular, detailed interviews is something United fans have never seen over the five years of Woodward’s tenure. The process of bringing Unai Emery to the club. Of making their summer signings like Matteo Guendouzi. Of their ambitions. Their targets. Arsenal fans are left in no doubt what the management of the club is thinking. At United it’s the complete opposite. Even yesterday’s announcement of Mourinho’s sacking wasn’t credited to any individual. Just the grey, faceless ‘communications department’. And with zero comment from Woodward.You don’t want to believe this. You really don’t. But it has to be raised. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have taken the call from Woodward. Determined to do right by the club. But what was Woodward’s motivation in choosing the Molde coach? Did he spend days. Hours. Studying Solskjaer’s work in Norway? His management. His style of play?Or does he see Solskjaer as simply a token. A popular figure to ease the pressure from fans and media? Someone to give him breathing space before finding Mourinho’s real replacement. Has Solskjaer been installed for the good of the club or for Woodward?Either way, the distraction is working. The prodigal son and all that. We’re all climbing over eachother today celebrating Solskjaer’s return. Just be sure not to look too deep. TagsTransfersOpinionAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

8 days agoSassuolo chief Carnevali admits Barcelona wanted Inter Milan midfielder Sensi

first_imgSassuolo chief Carnevali admits Barcelona wanted Inter Milan midfielder Sensiby Carlos Volcano8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveSassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali admits Barcelona wanted Stefano Sensi.The midfielder left Sassuolo for Inter Milan over the summer.“When I was in Barcelona for the Marlon negotiations, one of the Barcelona executives asked me about Sensi,” he told Corriere dello Sport.“They knew about him and kept tabs on him too, but Inter were quicker. We closed the deal on a Friday, after a brief meeting at the Nerazzurri’s offices, which was also attended by Conte.“On the following Monday, I would’ve had an important appointment with a foreign club…” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

The ACC Accidentally Called NC State “UNC State” In Its Tournament Program

first_imgACC calls NC State "UNC State."NC State fans aren’t fond of their in-state rival North Carolina, and as you’d imagine, they absolutely hate when people mix up the two schools. Wednesday, however, that somehow happened in the unlikeliest of places.The official ACC Tournament program lists NC State as “UNC State” on an entire page. We’re not sure how it happened, but you can assume that Wolfpack fans are very upset.Oops! Inside the @accmbb program a misspelling — “UNC State” instead of “NC State” @WFMY See pictures: pic.twitter.com/TTuWblGywI— Emily Spain (@Emily_Spain) March 11, 2015This is a straight up insult like who in the world is UNC State? pic.twitter.com/r7UOzNmEIB— Madeline (@Maddy_Dee13) March 11, 2015NC State took care of Pittsburgh Wednesday and has a date with Duke on Thursday. If the Wolfpack can keep winning, perhaps they’ll be able to convince people that they truly are their own entity.last_img read more

MSME Owners Encouraged to Keep Records

first_img Speaking at the Ministry’s CEO Breakfast Forum held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, in New Kingston on May 2, Mr. Shaw said since he was appointed the new Minister in March, he has identified that one of the restrictions to farmers and other MSMEs getting access to loans, involves them not having records and business plans in documented formats. Story Highlights Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) owners, especially farmers, to keep records of their business activities, so they can have better access to loans and other capital they need for growth. “The small and medium enterprises must recognise that they too have a duty and a responsibility to become formal, and the policies that the Government is driving, and will be driving, is that ‘get formal, get transparent, write a business plan, do the things required of a formal business’, and you will be in a position to access money at much more competitive interest rates, including single-digit interest rates,” Mr. Shaw said. Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) owners, especially farmers, to keep records of their business activities, so they can have better access to loans and other capital they need for growth.Speaking at the Ministry’s CEO Breakfast Forum held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, in New Kingston on May 2, Mr. Shaw said since he was appointed the new Minister in March, he has identified that one of the restrictions to farmers and other MSMEs getting access to loans, involves them not having records and business plans in documented formats.“The small and medium enterprises must recognise that they too have a duty and a responsibility to become formal, and the policies that the Government is driving, and will be driving, is that ‘get formal, get transparent, write a business plan, do the things required of a formal business’, and you will be in a position to access money at much more competitive interest rates, including single-digit interest rates,” Mr. Shaw said.He pointed out that some financial organisations at the Forum are willing to assist needy MSMEs and farmers; however, potential borrowers are often sidelined because they do not have proper documentation to prove that they can repay and are qualified.“The context is that despite the MSME sector being by far the largest number of businesses in the country, we’re only able to attract about 18 per cent of the formal credit,” he said.Mr. Shaw said that with more microenterprise operators having access to loans, this would result in a reduction in the interest rates on loans that are currently being offered in the market, based on economies of scale.“The sector has been accessing money on terms and conditions that militate against competitiveness, productivity [and] the ability to penetrate export markets on a real viable basis,” the Minister said.Mr. Shaw reiterated that the Government’s primary role is to create an enabling environment that facilitates private-sector investment and production.Meanwhile, Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Milverton Reynolds, agreed with Mr. Shaw, and emphasised that his organisation is willing to lend money to members of the MSMEs.“It’s not just the entire private sector that requires this focus (of having proper documentation), but, specifically, the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and so with that recognition, we at the DBJ over the last several years, have modified our approach and we have had to reorganise the way we do things to focus more on the MSME sector,” Mr. Reynolds said. in his address.He added that the DBJ wants to leave no sector or social group out of its policies and programmes, so not only is the bank focusing on MSMEs but it is also providing products for businesses at every stage of the business life cycle, specifically capital programmes.“No matter the size and level of the business, the DBJ can assist. From our low-interest loans to our collateral support programme, to capacity development support, right through to supply chains, we have a product or service for your company,” he said.For her part, CEO of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Valerie Veira, said her organisation is willing to guide persons from the MSMEs on how to plan properly and complete the required documentation, as this “sector is the backbone of every country’s economic development”.The Forum was held in partnership with the OAS and the JBDC.last_img read more