November has often proved to be an interesting and unusual month – weather-wise, politically, and this year a new challenge has been thrown into the mix. The COVID-19 pandemic. Studied from a negative perspective, these could be the ingredients of a recipe for disaster. But as it turns out, the novel coronavirus is actually stirring up a menu for change. Uncertainty is awakening creativity and innovation; the ability to pivot has surprised even the most savvy CEOs and helping each other is the order of the day.
Of course, the Tourism Industry is reeling throughout the Island nations. And while the impact is being felt in every economic sector, at the same time it is feeding the search for solutions and the need for strategic planning. In this issue of Business View Caribbean, we explore some determined, forward-thinking companies that are facing today’s challenges with a focused eye to the future. One such entity, the Port St. Maarten Group of Companies, reports on its operations over the last year, and how they are developing a safe and sustainable strategy for the eventual reopening of Cruise.
The Construction Sector, deemed an essential service, is powering ahead throughout the Caribbean. A long-time fixture in Bermuda, Gorham’s Ltd has grown its reputation as a major one-stop hardware and building supplies store. Success has followed, as the business expands and evolves to meet customers’ needs and the growing trend toward online shopping. In USVI, the passion for producing superior quality buildings– on schedule and on budget – has never wavered at JPK Development in two decades. Now they have shifted to smaller projects to keep their employees working and the business viable during the pandemic, while waiting for the big builds to resume construction.
Meantime, Jamaica is working on its own resiliency plan, assisted by the advocacy and encouragement of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association (IMAJ). An active member company of IMAJ, M&M Jamaica is maintaining momentum in spite of the psychological and economic impact of COVID-19 – offering stability to employees through ongoing contracts. From a supply standpoint, Jamaica Plumbing Supplies is a “plumbing power-house” forging ahead on a mission to supply the best and widest selection of plumbing items at affordable prices. With customer service a top priority.
Ending on a sweet note, our cover story showcases that Entrepreneurialism is alive and well, and actually quite tasty! Michelle Smith, confectioner extraordinaire is the founder and proprietor of Chocolate Dreams and a home-made success story. Over 17 years, the woman-owned business has pivoted to include wholesale, retail, and now curb-side convenience. For Michelle, it’s all about bringing joy to your day with her decadent creations… Triple Pleasure Chocolate Cake anyone?
As we near the end of 2020 and look forward to brighter days ahead, our wish it that you stay safe, keep the wheels of innovation turning, and above all, be kind to each other.
Lorie Lee Steiner
Editor in Chief