Georgetown, Guyana – Chairman of the United States based Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) Eldon Bremner has told a forum here that small businesses do not have to remain small and with the right combination of effective strategies and the right attitude on the part of their owners, can grow to become bi entities.
Speaking at a forum entitled ‘Effective Strategies for Accessing the US Market’ Bremer told the full to capacity room of more than 60 business owners and local officials that “Small businesses do not always stay small. Large corporations, such as Nike started off as a small business and grew to become major players in the international marketplace. Many computer-industry leaders began by working out of their garages. Microsoft and Amazon are prime examples of how a small business idea, transformed into a workable, well implemented, and managed plan can change the world. As one who has worked for decades in the hotel and tourism industry, I can attest to the international demand for quality products which reflect a unique and prestigious cultural and geographic and even historic flair.”
But to grow, Bremner said entrepreneurs have to begin by adhering to some of the basic principles of life such as honesty, discipline, commitment and a mentality that they do not know it all.
“Then the successful and sustained effective implementation of your business plan requires diligent cost control; the avoidance of waste; the highest levels of consistent quality product; reliability of supply and the best customer service you can offer,” Bremner, a retired business executive and professional accountant, emphasized to the audience.
Here is the full text of Mr. Bremner’s remarks:
Remarks by Mr. Eldon Bremner
Chairman, Board of Directors
Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce (GACC)
Thank You Madam Chair
Honorable Minister Walrond
Your Excellency Ambassador Lynch
Mr. Samaroo, Executive Chairman, DDL
Mr. Kirton, GACC President
And most important you the micro, small and medium size business owners and operatives participating in today’s Forum, I bid you all a warm welcome this afternoon.
I am especially pleased and encouraged by your response here today to our invitation to participate in this forum. Your presence here this afternoon demonstrates quite clearly that you have within you one of the most vital prerequisites for the success of any business….and that is the hunger for information, for analysis, for exposure to new ideas and relevant advice. Far too often businesses fail because they fail to keep abreast of the monumental changes taken place in the local and global environment in which they operate. In life, a mentality that suggests we know it all is a major ingredient for failure.
The Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) is incorporated and headquartered in the United States of America. I have the honor to be a founding member and have been elected its Chairman of the Board earlier this year. From the time of its formation been focusing much its attention on strategies and programs designed to protect and promote the interest and sustainable development of micro and small businesses in the US, and where possible, for those in Guyana as well. So today’s forum is yet another initiative of our Chamber which is being held to discuss as small manufacturers, food processors, craftspeople and artisans, you can best plan to successfully export your product to foreign markets. And to do so successfully requires that you first adhere to the basic principles of life itself…discipline, honesty, respect for laws and regulations and a commitment to hard and smart work.
Then there must be the adherence to basic business principles beginning with knowing what the market is in need of, where are these markets and what are their potential size, etc….which factors combine to be known in business as a SWOT analysis…Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Ideas are just that, ideas. You don’t implement ideas. Ideas must be transformed into workable plans to be implemented and effectively managed. The successful and sustained effective implementation of your business plan then requires diligent cost control; the avoidance of waste; the highest levels of consistent quality product; reliability of supply and the best customer service you can offer.
With adherence to the principles which I have identified, coupled with the right strategic thinking, micro and small businesses can be very profitable and can contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.
Small businesses do not always stay small. Large corporations, such as Nike started off as a small business and grew to become major players in the international marketplace. Many computer-industry leaders began by working out of their garages. Microsoft and Amazon are prime examples of how a small business idea, transformed into a workable, well implemented, and managed plan can change the world. As one who has worked for decades in the hotel and tourism industry I can attest to the international demand for quality products which reflect a unique and prestigious cultural and geographic and even historic ‘flare’. A great example of this can be found in Guyana’s Demerara Rum which has achieved special geographic identity in Europe and other parts of the world. I am sure Mr. Samaroo can speak more on this.
So in welcoming you to this afternoon’s forum I would like to urge you to participate fully. Follow the presentations closely. Ask questions and even challenge some of the strategies which might be thrown out here today. Make sure you draw to our attention any advice which you feel may be in conflict with your business realities and let us discuss them. This forum is for open and frank discussion which our Chamber hopes will assist you to strengthen your business and its capacity to export to international markets including that of the United States of America.
The Chamber’s president, Mr. Wesley Kirton is the driving force behind the work of the GACC and he continues to devote much of his time and efforts to fashioning programs and projects to advance the cause of micro and small businesses. I urge you to take full advantage of today’s forum and to at the end of it, leave here armed with some new information and strategies which would redound to the further success of your businesses.
About Mr. Bremner
GACC’s current Chairman of its Board of Directors, Mr. Eldon Bremner is a veteran business executive. He served for over a decade as General Manager of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. In addition, he has received one of Jamaica’s highest national awards for his exceptional vision and service to the hospitality industry. Bremmer has also served in senior positions in hotels in various parts of the world, including in the early days of the Guyana Pegasus Hotel.
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