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Sep 16, 2019

Expo Marketplace 2019 at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex

More than one hundred and fifty businesses participated in the two-day Expo Marketplace hosted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. The event is the largest business expo, where merchants and local entrepreneurs showcase their goods and services.  For many upcoming entrepreneurs, it was the ideal platform to effectively measure how well their innovative business ideas and products are received by consumers. The booths ranged from informational and educational, to clothing, food, locally made products, electronics, grocery, beverages and entertainment. Thousands came out despite the sweltering heat. Here is Duane Moody with a report. 

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

For the first time since its inception, the Expo Marketplace by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held at a new location, the open space at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex in Belize City. Over the weekend, thousands of Belizeans from across the country made their way over to take advantage of the great deals in phones and other electronic devices and more. It is the twenty-three annual expo and C.E.O. Kim Aikman says that it is expanding.

 

Kim Aikman

Kim Aikman, C.E.O., Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

“It has been going wonderfully throughout the past two days. I think people are very happy with the space although some people are asking if we did it so that they can exercise. Because it is a wider space, you have a lot more walking to do, but the booths are well worth it.”

 

Reporter

“So you are saying that the expo has outgrown the ITVET?”

 

Kim Aikman

“It definitely has outgrown the ITVET. Last year after the expo, we polled both the visitors and the exhibitors and they advised us that they would want more space; they felt a little cluttered. So we started negotiations with the Sports Council and they have been gracious. They rented us the facility and also for them, the Sports Council, they have the opportunity to recover revenue by providing the parking and the restroom facility.”

 

There were lots to eat and drink. While there were the large scale businesses that we have come to love, there were also entrepreneurs who were out showcasing their products and services. Wine Smith Limited is a family oriented business, with eleven flavours that are made by a Belizean America in California and is now being sold in Belize.

 

Kavani Cabrera, Sales Rep, Wine Smith Ltd.

“We import them since January and we started distributing them since January. So it is a fairly new company. We are just out here promoting and having people get to know about our wines.”

 

Reporter

“Where is this winery located?”

 

Kavani Cabrera

Kavani Cabrera

“We are located in San Ignacio in Bullet Tree Road. Our wines you won’t find in the normal Chinese stores; we carry them at resorts, at restaurants. In Belize City, we carry them at Brodie’s and Save U.  But our wine is not a cheap wine that you will find at the Chinese store that you will get for twenty dollars. It’s more like a high end wine. We have eleven types of wines; we have rosé, we have moscato. The moscato is the most popular one that Belize people love because it is a sweet wine. It is the only sweet wine that we carry; but we also have a variety of dry wines also.”

 

There was something for everyone including hair products for those who sport the natural look.

 

Silvia Audinette, Aunt Sil’s Treatment

“We do hair treatment for hair growth, bald spot; if yo edge di drop out, repair your curls, chemically damaged. You name the hair problem, we treat it.”

 

Reporter

“Tell us a bit about the ingredients you use for the products?”

 

Silvia Audinette

Silvia Audinette

“Well I use mostly Belizean herbs, all the old remedy weh dehn say: scaginiel, red bells, aloe vera, coconut. I have more than twenty-one different herbs that I work with.”

 

Reporter

“And how has the sales been so far?”

 

Silvia Audinette

“Very good. I can’t complain.”

 

The ITVET also took the opportunity to inform those who attended the expo about the rebranding works at the technical and vocation institution. From the commercial food preparation sector to small business management; the programme offers diverse skills.

 

Fay Dyer

Fay Dyer, Entrepreneurial Skills/Small Business Management Teacher, ITVET

“It is not just a learning institution, but it is a training institution whereby those who come out of school and feel they have no options, ITVET is there to serve them. We accept trainees from the age of fifteen and as you can see on our table right here, we have promotional items where we encourage our customers and clientele to stop by and answer simple little questions and we offer them the golden prize out of these bags. Presently, we offer trades such as carpentry, welding, automotive, electrical, housekeeping, food preparation, commercial preparation and we offer support subjects such as computer, entrepreneurial skills, Math and English cause we know you need to know all of those. What we want to do is just give the public the knowledge that they need to say if you don’t make it in high school, ITVET is there. And it doesn’t stop there; you can actually get your diploma and go back to high school. “

 

Even though the weekend was humid and there were some complaints about the location, the expo did not disappoint in the variety it had to offer.

 

Victor Jones

Victor Jones, Attendee, Expo Marketplace 2019

“It’s nice, I would advice everybody to come out and enjoy themselves. Reasonable thing for reasonable prices. This is my first year and so far, so good and I enjoy it cause yo meet up to new people and yo enjoy it to come and shop till yo drop.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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