‘Shop small for a big impact’ – small business expo opens today at Parc Rayne
A business exposition (expo), intent on showcasing the products, skills and services of local small and micro enterprises opens today at Parc Rayne, Houston.
The expo will be open to the public from 12:00 noon to 18:00hrs. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the expo and support all participating businesses.
It forms part of activities to celebrate National Small Business Week which kicked off on Friday evening with a cocktail networking reception at Herdmanston Lodge in Georgetown. The week of activities ends on April 16, 2022.
The week of activities is organised by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in collaboration with GTT Business Solutions and aims to highlight the integral role small businesses play in the sustained development of our country.
It is being held under the theme” “Shop small for a big impact.”
This is being done amongst the exponential development and investment that the oil and gas industry has and continues to bring to Guyana’s economy.
Other activities throughout the week include a series of online webinars, community outreaches, and incredible special discounts from over 40 participating businesses.
Addressing the networking cocktail event on Friday, GCCI’s President Timothy Tucker said the Chamber had planned the event but the protracted 2020 elections and COVID-19 had delayed it.
He said too that the event, initially geared for GCCI member companies, was expanded to include outsides companies which also saw a growth in the Chamber’s membership which is just below 600.
“Small, medium and micro businesses are the backbone of the economy… every large business you see in this country was once a small business. It had to find its footing somewhere,” Tucker said.
He said the input of small businesses in the GCCI was important with far-reaching effects.
Speaking about the week of activities, Tucker said it is geared towards creating networking opportunities and a level playing field for small businesses to participate.
But more importantly, the GCCI President believes access to finance and land were among major issues for small businesses but noted that these challenges are not unique to Guyana alone.
“… because of this it is important to fight for support services to grow small businesses,” Tucker added.”
Meanwhile, Head of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and businessman Dr. Peter Ramsaroop delivered the featured address at the event and recalled his days of running a small business. He spoke of the risks involved and the boldness needed to overcome it.
“It’s a lot of pain that we go through… but the benefits are rewarding.”
According to Dr. Ramsaroop the issue of access to financing can be overcome by forging partnerships with larger businesses. But above that, he said small business owners must lose the “victim mentality.”
“Don’t wait on people and support to come to you… go look for it. There are many small grants available that can help you get off the ground,” he added.
“There is no limit where small businesses can go. Be confident and understand that your job is about making money. Don’t try to be a good citizen and help society,” Ramsaroop concluded.