|Provo Chamber working for progress|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:22|
The Providenciales Chamber of Commerce has increased its efforts as a result of the organization’s mounting concerns about the impact of new government policies on the business community and other negative factors impacting local commerce.
These include regular meetings with the country’s Chief Financial Officer Hugh McGarel-Groves that members have found beneficial and whose suggestions have been taken into account.
“It is vital that we ensure the business community is not overlooked and while we have had to fight for some of the face-time we are getting with certain in country and visiting groups, our membership can rest assured that The Chamber is not resting on its laurels,” explained Chamber President Tina Fenimore.
“The sweeping changes in some 50 ordinances demand vigorous attention; and we have been giving them just that with our Executive team meeting more frequently and going above and beyond what has been required in previous years.”
Among the extra activities of the Provo Chamber has been the preparation of several positions papers, but much more has been underway.
“Over the next few days, weeks and months the public will be excited at the ‘coming out’ of our behind the scenes work and what it means for business development and its future in the islands,” Fenimore said.
The chamber plans to be heard more regularly on radio, seen more regularly on television, appear more regularly in print and continue to build its online presence. It has a Facebook page and is working on revamping its website platform (www.provochamber.com)to be even more interactive.
“Additionally, I am working with our secretary and administrator at the Provo Chamber to launch an e-newsletter where the work of the Chamber can be more regularly accessed and assessed by our members and the public,” Fenimore said.
The Providenciales Chamber of Commerce is working on....
1. JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAMME - The implementation of the Junior Achieve programme for the first time in the Turks and Caicos in concert with JA out of the United Kingdom. This programme will shore up a strong sense of entrepreneurial skills and offer scholastic development for high school sophomores.
2. SUPPORT FOR JUNIOR CHEFS - Increased support for TCI Adventure, formally, the Lil Chefs. The Chamber has agreed that to assist in promoting events that support funding for this Department of Youth and Hotel & Tourism Association programme is integral to hospital excellence and development among our children.
3. SYNERGY THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS - A stronger working relationship with certain NGOs including the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, the Turks and Caicos National Trust, the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board and the Grand Turk Chamber of Commerce.
4. MEETINGS AND REPORTS ON FUTURE OF TCI - Robust positions made following review and meetings with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD); the Department for International Development (DFID); the Ministry of Finance regarding the Green Paper of VAT; a session with the Electricity Commissioner as we continue dialogue and explore ways to curb the rising electricity costs and revisions in the islands and we have ongoing dialogue with the Ministry of Border Control and Labour on recent changes and requirements for work permits.
5. SOCIAL NETWORKING - We continue to grow our ‘After Hours Business’ events which will in May include Horse Eyed Jacks and Blue Notes Piano Bar. These social settings enable us to network in a more relaxed environment. The Provo Chamber also finds these can bring much needed attention and business to our members who are happy to treat those attending to wine, cheese and other hors d’oeuvres. The After Hours Business Events are also used as a membership drive.
There are also plans to host business luncheons featuring out of town and insightful local speakers, and several international ‘expos’ where new trade relations could be forged.
6. MEMBERSHIP BOOM - A vigorous approach to increasing membership. We have seen an exponential growth in membership within the Provo Chamber of Commerce. We attribute this to several important factors including the addition of Wendy Hill as Office Administrator. A strategic follow-up plan, polite requests and/or suggestions to join and a stronger sense among the business community to synergize in the face of rapidly changing legislation have worked to more than double membership of the Provo Chamber of Commerce in recent months.
7. HIGHER VISIBILITY, OWN PUBLICATION - The Provo Chamber of Commerce will also be heard more regularly on radio, seen more regularly on television, appear more regularly in print and continues to build its online presence. The Chamber has recently established a Face book page and is working on revamping its website platform to be even more interactive.
“Additionally, I am working with our secretary and administrator at the Provo Chamber to launch an e-newsletter where the work of the Chamber can be more regularly accessed and assessed by our members and the public.”
The Chamber’s newsletter will be published monthly, and will be distributed electronically.
8. BUSINESS PERFORMANCE SURVEY COMING - As so many of our members have seen such a dip in profits we aim to gauge the impact of our ‘soft’ economy not with speculative calculations, but with concrete data. Our business survey is in the final stages of preparation with questions submitted and suggested by our Executive. Once it is complete, which will be in a matter of days, it will be electronically distributed to members of the Provo Chamber for their anonymous and honest input as we compile actual figures for use by Government, the media and the general public.
9. GLOBAL REPRESENTATION - It was also our pleasure to sponsor several member exploits to eye-opening conferences and meetings. Deandrea Hamilton recently returned from a trip to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia where opportunities were unveiled. Ms. Hamilton will deliver a report to members for consideration on how The Turks and Caicos can benefit from and within the Latin American market.
We have also had our President, Tina Fenimore return from a session in Nassau, Bahamas with the US Embassy there. Where the development of a ‘Sister Cities’ project was in focus. The US Embassy officials invested significant time with Mrs. Fenimore to explain the advantages of these relationships.
Please feel free to contact Deandrea Hamilton, Secretary of the Provo Chamber with responsibility for media relations, about further interviews on the listed initiatives. Call 649-331-9261.
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