CREDIT TO MUSICIANS in JAMAICA (JaRIA) : JaRIA Chairman Ibo Cooper told the Jamaica Observer that “When one pays their annual JaRIA basic membership fee, one can now sign up for a savings plan and save towards the benefits"

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com  Monday, February 22, 2016    
An initiative is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), along with the City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union (COK) to offer financial guidance to members of the entertainment industry.
Come next Sunday at the JaRIA Honour Awards at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston, both parties will sign the symbolic document to signal the commencement of the relationship.
JaRIA chairman Ibo Cooper
JaRIA Chairman Ibo Cooper told the Jamaica Observer that Andre Gooden, acting business development officer at COK, first made the offer and discussions have been taking place for some time to get the agreement up and running.
“In his initial email, Gooden said he had observed a situation taking place with a number of entertainers who are unable to take care of themselves in later years due to financial constraints and, as a result, was looking to offer a relationship with COK. I responded to his email and invited him to put a plan to JaRIA . I really have to commend COK for putting action where other people have really only put their mouths,” said Cooper. Under this initiative, JaRIA members will be entitled to certain benefits from this COK-managed and operated facility.
“When one pays their annual JaRIA basic membership fee, one can now sign up for a savings plan and save towards the benefits... it’s both a long term and short-term goal of the initiative. In the short term, we just want the entertainment industry to just start savings accounts and benefit from the preferential rates open to members. In the long term, we are looking to set up an endowment fund where we can provide venture capital for projects being put forward by members of the fraternity. This is a great initiative and it sends a great signal to both the business communities as well as entertainers about the possibilities which exist for partnerships,” said Cooper.
JaRIA, which administers the activities for Reggae Month, is winding down its celebrations. This week there will only be one staging of the biweekly Reggae Open University discussion series due to Thursday’s general election. This will be held on Tuesday at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. This week’s topic is ‘Vinyl to CD to Digital.’

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