New Chamber location reflects growth

 The Chamber of Commerce
has moved to new office premises at Governor’s Square. Chamber of Commerce CEO
Wil Pineau discusses the reasons for the move and the benefits of the new
location.

After more than 10 years of having been based in the centre
of George Town the Chamber of Commerce has moved to a new location. The bright
open plan office space at Governor’s Square suits the needs of a Chamber that
has expanded and branched out into new service areas for its members, says CEO
Wil Pineau.

“We actually enjoyed our location downtown and it provided
us with a lot of good foot traffic,” he says. “But as we have grown as a
Chamber and we are providing nearly 70 training courses a year, we needed a
larger facility to accommodate that growth.”

He adds that in a typical year the Chamber of Commerce hosts
dozens of meetings or all types and sizes and provides information to hundreds
of people and therefore needs a facility that provides easy access.

The immediate necessity for the move was that the lease for
the existing office space had ended, but the Chamber had also previously
identified the search for new premises as one of the elements of its 10 year
strategic plan.

The business association examined different properties both
in downtown George Town and out of town. The facility at Governor’s Square
ultimately offered all the attributes that we wanted, says Pineau, in
particular “a nice open floor plan, ground floor access from two sides on West
Bay Road and Governor’s Square and more suitable parking arrangements”.

In
particular the wider availability of parking spaces makes the Chamber more
accessible to a wider audience, for example for functions and events.

“It also is our 45th anniversary this year,” says Pineau,
“and we felt that it is a good way of improving the image of the Chamber, while
at the same time introducing new services that we can provide.”

Visitors centre
These services include a visitor’s centre in the reception
area, where both tourists and residents can obtain tourism, relocation and
investment information. “All that kind of information that you would hope to
find in one location, we try to provide that as a service to the community as
well as our members.”

The visitors centre offers member businesses the opportunity
to display their brochures and a TV flat screen will show Chamber TV, which is
going to promote the products and services of members as well as highlight
places to visit, where to shop and general real estate information, Pineau
explains.

Meeting space
Some of the main benefits of the new office location are the
larger meeting areas and training facilities.

Pineau states that, as a non-profit organisation that exists
to serve the interests of its membership, offering affordable meeting space is
something that is very important.

The Chamber now has a conference facility that can seat 30
people theatre style as well as a professional development training centre,
where the organisation offers training programmes. It further allows the
association to host different types of forums, such as the Be Informed series,
and it can also be used by member companies for product demonstrations or
similar events.

“It just allows everyone a better interconnectivity with the
Chamber of Commerce,” says Pineau, explaining that the Cayman Islands Chamber
has taken on a more traditional role of a Chamber of Commerce and Visitors
Centre.

Business pods
Given that the largest segment of the Chamber’s membership
is small business, the association felt there was a need to better support
small firms and especially start-ups. The provision of business pods, a mini
office space for small businesses that are not able to afford a large office,
is a new service that the Chamber can offer in its new location. It benefits
small businesses which not only receive affordable office space, but also
support infrastructure and meeting facilities.

“The whole purpose of the business pods is to help small
businesses in their start-up,” says Pineau. In addition it will also offset
some of the costs of the move.

However the lion share of the moving costs has been made
possible through the generosity of Chamber members, Pineau says, either through
donations or various discounts. The association also received a very good deal
from Bobby Bodden and Governor’s Square. “They actually assisted us
tremendously in the move,” he says. All the support that the Chamber has
received will be recognised during the Chamber week activities that have been
planned for 18 -26 November, which will mark the official opening of the new
facilities.

floor access from two sides on West Bay Road and Governor’s
Square and more suitable parking arrangements”. In particular the wider
availability of parking spaces makes the Chamber more accessible to a wider
audience, for example for functions and events.

“It also is our 45th anniversary this year,” says Pineau,
“and we felt that it is a good way of improving the image of the Chamber, while
at the same time introducing new services that we can provide.”

Visitors centre
These services include a visitor’s centre in the reception
area, where both tourists and residents can obtain tourism, relocation and
investment information. “All that kind of information that you would hope to
find in one location, we try to provide that as a service to the community as
well as our members.”

The visitors centre offers member businesses the opportunity
to display their brochures and a TV flat screen will show Chamber TV, which is
going to promote the products and services of members as well as highlight
places to visit, where to shop and general real estate information, Pineau
explains.

Meeting space
Some of the main benefits of the new office location are the
larger meeting areas and training facilities.

Pineau states that, as a non-profit organisation that exists
to serve the interests of its membership, offering affordable meeting space is
something that is very important.

The Chamber now has a conference facility that can seat 30
people theatre style as well as a professional development training centre,
where the organisation offers training programmes. It further allows the
association to host different types of forums, such as the Be Informed series,
and it can also be used by member companies for product demonstrations or
similar events.

“It just allows everyone a better interconnectivity with the
Chamber of Commerce,” says Pineau, explaining that the Cayman Islands Chamber
has taken on a more traditional role of a Chamber of Commerce and Visitors
Centre.

Business pods
Given that the largest segment of the Chamber’s membership
is small business, the association felt there was a need to better support
small firms and especially start-ups. The provision of business pods, a mini
office space for small businesses that are not able to afford a large office,
is a new service that the Chamber can offer in its new location. It benefits
small businesses which not only receive affordable office space, but also
support infrastructure and meeting facilities.

“The whole purpose of the business pods is to help small
businesses in their start-up,” says Pineau. In addition it will also offset
some of the costs of the move.

However the lion share of the moving costs has been made
possible through the generosity of Chamber members, Pineau says, either through
donations or various discounts. The association also received a very good deal
from Bobby Bodden and Governor’s Square. “They actually assisted us
tremendously in the move,” he says. All the support that the Chamber has received
will be recognised during the Chamber week activities that have been planned
for 18 -26 November, which will mark the official opening of the new
facilities.

 

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