Chamber reaches out to rural businesses
August 7, 2009
Chamber reaches out to rural businesses

On Saturday, July 25, 2009, Council members from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Chamber’s Executive Director, ventured out to Georgetown on the Windward side of St.Vincent and the Grenadines to meet and speak with, and listen to business personnel, and potential partners in the hope of creating stronger business ties and greater co-operation with the rural business community.{{more}}

The meeting took place at the Georgetown Anglican Church Hall, where the President and Executive Director of the Chamber addressed the business group, informing them of the role of the Chamber in rural business development. The addresses were followed by a lively and robust discussion which brought to light a number of issues that businesses are facing in Georgetown. Three issues that were profound in the discussion included the lack of support that businesses in rural areas experience; the unavailability of essential services in the Georgetown area which makes running a business difficult; and the minimal access to capital available to small businesses that are looking for small loans to keep afloat in the current turbulent economy.

The visit to Georgetown was a simple reminder that businesses in rural communities in St.Vincent and the Grenadines have challenges just as great as businesses situated in the bustling Kingstown area. And the Chamber of Industry and Commerce recognizes this fact. The Chamber understands that a strong business culture in St.Vincent and the Grenadines means that every business, whether situated in a city or rural area, must have all the necessary tools and resources available to function and thrive. In this enabled capacity, businesses can then sustain and support their communities, which would in return benefit all Vincentians and our national economy. But if businesses, particularly in rural areas, are unable to get the basic help and support that is required for them to function, not only will small and rural communities suffer but the entire Vincentian business community would be in jeopardy.

In recognition of this reality, the Chamber asserts that it is time for businesses throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines to have a stronger bond, and be willing to assist each other in times of need. The Chamber therefore wants to encourage businesses to form stronger networking alliances with rural businesses, and to have greater mutual partnerships that can create opportunities such as distribution, collective branding and marketing. These opportunities are not only effective for growth and development, but also promote friendly competition among businesses and will thus contribute to the overall strong business culture in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce has pledged to continue reaching out to rural businesses and will be venturing out to other rural areas throughout St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the coming months. The Chamber hopes that this proactive step would encourage businesses to join the Chamber, so they can be more active in their rural communities and also play a vital role in the overall development of the SVG business community by becoming essential business partners.