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Quality service key for business growth - Louis Potter

Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL), right, checks out one of the booths at the Buy BVI Trade Show on April 29, 2017. Photo: VINO
An arts and craft booth by Virgin Islander Carol M. Smith. Photo: VINO
An arts and craft booth by Virgin Islander Carol M. Smith. Photo: VINO
The 2-day Buy BVI Trade Show is being held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town. Photo: VINO
The 2-day Buy BVI Trade Show is being held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Road Town. Photo: VINO
Peter Island Resort and Spa is also represented at the 2017 Buy BVI Trade Show. Photo: VINO
Peter Island Resort and Spa is also represented at the 2017 Buy BVI Trade Show. Photo: VINO
Patrons checking out 100% natural hair and skin care products made in the Virgin Islands at Shevandar Naturals. Photo: VINO
Patrons checking out 100% natural hair and skin care products made in the Virgin Islands at Shevandar Naturals. Photo: VINO
BVI On the Go at the 2017 Buy BVI Trade Export. Photo: VINO
BVI On the Go at the 2017 Buy BVI Trade Export. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - "We want to emphasise to you that your business will grow depending on the quality service that you give your community." That was a keenly noted message to entrepreneurs and their staff in attendance at the 2017 edition of the Buy BVI Trade Expo being held at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.

The Buy BVI Trade Expo is an annual event that has been promoted by the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) for in excess of 30 years to promote and showcase local businesses and products of the territory.

Mr Louis Potter, who heads the association, was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the expo on April, 29, 2017. "We want to also emphasise not only to brand yourselves but brand the BVI Hotel Association and continue to give and give the best of your service always. Consider every customer to be an honoured guest in your store and when they walk away they can always continue to recommend you to others and they will return again and again to your store."

Grow beyond VI borders; Up the game

Stressing the importance of more businesses coming into the fold, Mr Potter encouraged more business to join forces with the Chamber as he also stressed the need to see local businesses grow beyond the borders of the Virgin Islands.

"We want to see you continue to grow year after year. We want to see you grow not only locally but we want to see you grow to the point where you move overseas," Mr Potter said. 

The opening ceremony was not one of long speeches but did also hear from Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D Orlando Smith (AL), who noted the need for local businesses to up the game to become a competitive  player in the international market.

"BVI entrepreneurs need to up their game locally in order to compete in the global scale," commented Premier Smith.

‘Buy local’ a global call

However, Troy Christopher, BVICCHA President and Chairman of the Buy BVI Trade Show, addressed in brief the issue of buying local as he noted that many countries have now joined the call to buy local to allow for the survival of their respective economies.

"Buy local! How long have we been saying that in the BVI? Now it's catching on globally, (President Donald) Trump, Brexit; obviously we are going through a transition phase now where there is a big demand globally for citizens to support their own territories and businesses," emphasised Christopher.

"To buy local within their own jurisdictions and it's something that as much as we continue to trade internationally, globally, it has to work for everyone."

On the other hand Green technology BVI's Ms Abigale O'Neal, who spoke as the representative of all the participating businesses, challenged government to not only focus on giving incentives to local business but to encourage people to buy local. "Would just like to ask and trust that the government and government agencies would continue to provide the incentives, not just for businesses but for the members of the public to buy local."

The expo enters its final day today April 30, 2017 and a number of businesses will be named for a series of awards having participated in the event.

21 Responses to “Quality service key for business growth - Louis Potter”

  • Become to political (30/04/2017, 12:22) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Turn out is poor!
    • @ become to political. (30/04/2017, 14:31) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
      Organizing is a Skill a gift. Until they get people who got those skills involved everything will continue to fail. The people who in power always trying to fight down the people who know how to get things done... They bad talk and back stab them...I know I go there and the people I see from companies and the people I don't see. I investigate that's why I can say what I say. The best people to represent companies are absent.
  • Sherry (30/04/2017, 12:29) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    One way of moving forward is to identify SERVICES.
    Yes, we have an 1) upholsterer on island, but why not a couple more around the territory for cushions and curtains? Have a store of material specifically for these projects?
    With all the villas being decorated, why can't someone make 2) CUSTOM LAMP SHADES? Years ago one woman did but couldn't keep up with the demand. It just requires paper or textile materials, tracing patterns and sizes.
    3) Pottery and China- mending for cracks and chips, 4) rent-able patio furniture with option to buy, or return after season (usually a couple of weeks but with criteria), 5) district bookstores which will take back used books for a nominal payment? Used book payments add up to pocket money while people not wanting to pay full price get a bargain?. It will also hopefully make people aware of keeping books in good shape.

    Service businesses have a better chance of catching on than untried products which cost a lot for the gamble.
    imported T-shirts are not local. Remember "Sloop Jones" brand of painted clothing and linen shirts from St John?
    they were internationally known because they were artistic and identifiable. Just a thought.
    • Boo (30/04/2017, 13:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Thanks. Will start working on some of those ideas
    • pete (01/05/2017, 22:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      yes, think of all those mystery books from charters that get left behind. pick the ones in good shape and sell them back to the store even if it was 50 cent a piece, it adds up. good idea.
  • Right Now!!! (30/04/2017, 13:38) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'll order a "RED ROTI ", w/some "BLACK VEGGIES" on the side please. Oh!, and don't forget the TAMARIND SAUCE.
  • Notice to public (30/04/2017, 14:18) Like (1) Dislike (11) Reply
    I ate some so call home made ice cream it sent me to the toilet becareful people
  • Jack B. (30/04/2017, 14:22) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
    Its all about the Shepherd / Manager / supervisor and the way they lead and care for their flock. When you have Shepherd that love the white sheep more than the black sheep, that live their country sheep more than the other sheep. When you have Shepherd that devides the sheep then blame the sheep for going a stray. Keep your flock happy and united and your customers will smiling in and out of your business..
    • Bull (30/04/2017, 16:30) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      That is bullshit! The black locals here that are running sensible businesses are doing just fine and not complaining!
  • Buy Local (30/04/2017, 16:32) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    people just support the locals it goes a long way and it my eventually return right to you in some way or the other.
    • Jane (01/05/2017, 16:44) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      I once believed strongly in supporting local business, but after receiving poor customer service, I don't feel the same way. I'm not prepared to deal with poor service when I have many many options: online, Puerto Rico, Florida, St. Thomas and the UK.
  • E. Leonard (30/04/2017, 21:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    True, going forward, businesses must up their game, must look beyond the borders of the VI........etc. However, the question is how can VI compete with external competitors to achieve more domestic market share, along with meet some of the needs of the international market. The task at hand may be doable but it is a heavy lift.

    The BVI transitioned from a subsistence agricultural economy to a service-based economy (tourism, financial services), starting in the 60s. Further, the VI is small (entails many challenges) and lacks the natural resources to establish either a competitive Primary Economy (oil, precious metals, mining, fishing, forestry, agricultural ...etc ) or a Secondary Economy (manufacturing). The BVI's economy is tertiary------services. Thus, going forward, the VI may need to identify new territory and craft strategies and tactics to getting to the destination.

    Moreover, in identifying that new territory, the VI must decide what goods to produce, how to produce them and for whom to produce them, given limited resources(land, labour, capital). It must look closely at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the quest to produce more goods. It must look at producing goods in which it has either a comparative or an absolute advantage in. Further, a production challenge, in addition to labour and markets, is cheap energy and transportation. Nevertheless, the first challenge is to produce goods for the domestic market that attracts consumers to buy local. Buying local has a definite multiplier effect on the economy.
    • @ E. Leonard (01/05/2017, 09:40) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Great points as usual!! However, we need to face a harsh reality here in the BVI. Manufacturing has an ugly side and that is one of cheap labor in order to make profits. People have this warped mentality that you can pay employees top dollar to manufacture and still sell cheap to the consumer which is rubbish. You want cheap stuff? You need to get it made cheaply, that's the bottom line. The BVI will never be a manufacturing jurisdiction simply because of the issues of labour, it costs too much and makes no business sense. This isn't personal, it's simple business sense and explains why most global manufacturing occurs in 'certain' places in the world. Why do you think America is catching hell with factories and manufacturing? Everyone is making demands and with the cost of doing business it's just not sustainable.
  • Street Reporter it the locals. (01/05/2017, 06:02) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Issue number one. Black people enjoy pulling down one another. North western just take over Rite way and if you see how the staff running to them like Rats running for cheese. Trying to pull each other down. Sad .. Now north western ain playing, they are in business to make money they don't care about individual staff. Then again its the locals who were in charge that fail Mr. Hawcraft. Who he lost confidence in. They cause him to sell out... The Local managers failed Rite way, failed Haycraft. Welcome North western. You are in control now.
  • QTNA (01/05/2017, 09:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What business has Louis ever run or grow?
  • Enjoyed (01/05/2017, 18:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    We to negative. I enjoyed going to the trade show I think if all of us play a role in helping those businesses thrive the economy of the territory will get better. Many of them are our own local people. I looked around and was very impressed. One young lady who did the coconut items and soda can belts, spider lights that was the best highlight for me thats real talent. Would like to encourage the powers that be to help her to get a place that she can afford to display and sell these products. This i real tatent no joke. I was bless to see so many young people involved in many of the stalls i think we are doing well.

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