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Sep 9, 2015

Belizeans Flocked to 19th Annual BCCI Expo

The expo, hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has become a staple in the September Celebrations calendar. This year, the number of visitors was less than last year, but new booths made up for the shortfall. The nineteenth annual Expo Belize Market Place was at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. Duane Moody looks at the wide range of deals…from food to cell phones and electronics.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

On Saturday and Sunday, the ITVET Compound on Freetown Road in Belize City was transformed into a market and as entertainment flowed, businesses offered promotions on electronics and cell phones, clothing, food, drinks and entertainment. And officials say over seventeen thousand people from across the country converged at the grounds for the nineteenth annual Expo Belize Market Place hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

Vicki Thadani

Vicki Thadani, Owner, Go Wireless

“We have crazy deals. I mean the number one deal would be the ninety-nine dollar tablet. That’s a really low price for a fully featured tablet—android, four-gig, dual camera. Then we have android phones at eighty-nine dollars. We have a lot of accessories. We have Apple phones at crazy deals, Samsung phones; you name it, crazy deals. Our display is interactive, it is totally different. It is not conventional that you have to see something in a showcase. You can touch, feel, interact with the product, get in love with the product, then know what you are purchasing and make your purchase.”

 

Andre Salgado, Manager, Quality Poultry Orange Walk Branch

“For the Expo this weekend, we have chicken fingers; chicken kabobs and we have grilled chicken.”

 

Andre Salgado

Duane Moody

“How do you guys ensure that you compete against others out there and give a product that people will line up for?”

 

Andre Salgado

“Well wah lot of people are health conscious and going for that and so the grilled chicken is specifically for them. And then the kids like fried food so we are offering the chicken fingers and we have some males that like the spiciness and so we have the chicken kabobs. And as you notice out here, all of our workers have on caps and safety nets. Everything is health and geared towards health and food safety.”

 

Karan Sabdani

Karan Sabdani, Co-Owner, Cellular World

“This is like the Black Friday of electronics in Belize—expo, agriculture. We have a lot of crazy deals going on…from thirty-nine dollars up. We have androids from ninety dollars up. We actually have a different strategy where we know everybody wants their Whatsapp and Facebook…we actually have twenty 4G models and android for under two hundred dollars.”

 

But there were many new booths added to the Expo-experience, including the Merida Chamber of Commerce, the auto pavilion, optical services, and micro businesses promoting handicraft, agro-products and environmental literature. It’s a cultural experience for all those who attended.

 

Crystal Samos

Crystal Samos, Owner, Carpe Diem

“This is the first year we are here. It is a new company; we are about nine months young because we are very young. So it is the first time here and we are trying to promote our products—we have our shampoo sets, we have our scrubs and we have raffles as well.”

 

Duane Moody

“Talk to us about the deals that you guys are offering.”

 

Crystal Samos

“Well we have our shampoo sets which are usually thirty dollars, we have them for twenty-five. We have our body scrubs, Arman which is male and Carpe Diem which is female one for twenty Belize, but if you buy two, then you get each for fifteen dollars.”

 

Bridgette White

Bridgette White, Single Mothers of Belize

“What we’re doing is trying to get people to treat themselves, especially women. We are doing a very low price of fifteen dollars for pedicure, ten dollars for manicure…anybody can stop—male or female. We decided as women to come together, join forces, because in Belize nobody joining forces. So if we could put together resources and all, get people to come on out and support us, it is a worthy cause.”

 

Khris Rosado

Khris Rosado, Black Pearl Motorcycle Club

“This year, we are raffling a 2015 Sportster. With five dollars a chance, the bike is worth thirty thousand Belize [dollars]. So that is heck of a chance. It is a great culture, it is a great brotherhood. Comradery is the number one thing in this whole biker game. It is just an excellent experience. I would encourage people to do it more; get out there, go on your two wheels, encourage other motorists to give respect to the bikers because we are vehicles too. We are passengers and riders of vehicles too just that we have two wheels.”

 

Jawbreakers, stretch-mi-guts, juju beans and your all time favorite childhood sweets were also available at this year’s expo. And for those sweet lovers, who can manage a tooth-ache, Sweet Indulgence, is just the place for you.

 

Tanya Cano-Vernon

Tanya Cano-Vernon, Owner, Sweet Indulgence

“No tooth ache, but if you definitely have a sweet-tooth you could come by. We have our store located at 118 North Front Street. We have all sorts of candies, gummies, sour belles, jujus, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered almonds; you name it, we have it.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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