Shomari Scott becomes 38th Chamber President
Shomari Scott became the 38th President of the Chamber of Commerce this week at the Annual General Meeting. The Health City Cayman Islands Chief Business Officer pledged to assist small businesses to recover from the impact of the pandemic and to establish a trusting partnership with Government. He will work to alter the misconception that the Chamber is an elitist organisation, stressing that small businesses are the true drivers of the Cayman Islands economy, and the Chamber is an organisation of small business entrepreneurs.
‘’More than 75% of our 636 members employ fewer than 10 employees. These businesses have been impacted the most during the pandemic and we must do everything we can to assist them to recover and succeed,’’ he stressed. ‘
’We also must support Caymanian entrepreneurs in our schools and communities who are seeking to start their own businesses. We want them to become the next generation of wealth and job creators. The Chamber will evaluate its programmes and services to determine what we can do to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses. We will advocate for fee and overhead reductions and barriers that prevent micro and small businesses to succeed. Developing and supporting new business growth will be at the forefront of the Chamber’s advocacy agenda, programmes and services,’’ he said.
Scott reflected on the many successes of the Chamber over the years which included the establishment of the islands’ first multi-employer pension plan in 1992, the Chamber Training Centre in 1995, the islands’ first student mentoring programme in 2002, Leadership Cayman in 2010 and the award-winning Growth Matters animated video series in 2018.The Chamber has produced salary surveys, special reports, and economic studies and initiated many community programmes such as the annual Earth Day cleanup, fundraising charity golf tournaments, Cayman Crimestoppers, Resilience Cayman, and the Employee Assistance programme.
He described the list as impressive but noted the need for innovation.
‘’We must determine what’s next for the Chamber so that small businesses and entrepreneurs will want to join and see true value in the programmes and services that we offer. In short, we need to reengage with our members and the community so that we understand what they want us to offer and deliver it,’’ he said.
Scott thanked Past President Mike Gibbs for his voluntary leadership to the organization over several years and presented him with a gift from the membership, Council and Staff.