Vendors grateful for Small Business Fair and Expo exposure

CRYSTAL MCINTOSH-FLOWERS and RONNIE O’CONNO

Local vendors got the opportunity to advertise their businesses at the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s (GBPA) Small Business Fair and Expo on Thursday (June 20) at the Pelican Bay Hotel.

Some of the participating vendors spoke to this daily about the importance of pursuing entrepreneurship in The Bahamas.

Proprietor of Treat Me Sweet Custom Cake Studio, Crystal McIntosh-Flowers, said that she was excited to put her business out there and get more exposure.

Her company creates custom cakes and treat tables for special events like weddings and other parties. “I also provide luxury dessert items.”

McIntosh-Flowers furthered that the event was an awesome opportunity for local entrepreneurs, because the event gave them exposure as well as advice on how to successfully run their businesses.

“It just opens doors,” she added.

Proprietor and Designer of Baha Gala Jewelry Tanisha Carey, had a wide selection of her custom hand-made jewelry on display during the expo.

Carey revealed that she uses many native Bahamian products to create her unique accessories. “I use a lot of authentic Bahamian products such as the pink sand.”

She noted that participating in events like the expo is great for any business even longtime businesses, which have been in operation for years.

Baha Gala also partners with major properties, including Baha Mar and Atlantis.

Proprietor of ITP Industrial Ronnie O’Conno, was also a participating vendor in the expo.

Noting that the company offers a wide range of industrial protective gear, O’Conno shared how he came on board for the event.

“We were invited as a budding business here in Grand Bahama to participate,” he disclosed.

He furthered that they were happy to participate, because the company is unique in that it represents a United Kingdom based company called Port West, which has existed for many years.

“Our company represents them here in The Bahamas and throughout the Turks and Caicos,” he said.

He added that his company can provide many of the items needed by other businesses conducting construction and other developmental work on an industrial scale.

Businesses are able to purchase these items locally, instead of getting them from an international source.

“You have better access to products that you really need,” he said.

Bethel’s Superstore also displayed an array of its office supplies at the expo.

Sales Associate of Bethel’s Superstore Zuleika Pickstock, spoke to this daily about their role at the expo.

She expressed that as a long-standing business in Grand Bahama it was important for them to participate in the Fair and Expo to show younger businesses that there is hope for future success as a native entrepreneur.

“We started out small and now look at us,” she said.

Bethel’s is now located in its own building at #9 West Mall Drive.

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