Attendees at the final of BEDC's Fall Vendor Series. *Photo supplied
Attendees at the final of BEDC's Fall Vendor Series. *Photo supplied

 

 

On Tuesday, November 19th, BEDC successfully concluded its Fall Vendor Series when it hosted "Bermuda's Vendor Markets - Identify Your Niche".   The seminar and trade show was broken into three sections. 

The evening opened with a stirring welcome by BEDC Board Member and owner of The Harbourmaster store, Mrs. Sheilagh Robertson.  Mrs. Robertson spoke on the need for vendors to consider themselves businesses and to avail themselves of business seminars and workshops which would provide them with best-practice information to apply to their businesses.  She also advocated that success doesn't come easy and shouldn't – “it takes hard work, commitment, and attention to the delivery of a quality product and experience for consumers.”

The first section, titled "What You Must Know", dealt with the rules and regulations of vending from various Government departments, but also provided information on vending and concession opportunities. Jasmin Smith, Director of Transport Control Department, provided attendees with invaluable information on the application process for food concession trailers.  Susan Hill Davidson, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Department of Health, followed and spoke on the types of vending businesses and events that require Health Licenses and the process for securing permission.  Next up, Craig Burt, Parks Ranger with Department of Parks gave a comprehensive overview of the opportunities available for vending and concessions at the national parks and beaches.  Detective Constable Damon Hollis of the Bermuda Police Service presented key information on identifying and catching counterfeit money as business owners and what to do when you do receive some.  H.M. Customs Officer Oronde Wilson provided important information on the importation and declaration of goods process and what relief is available.  Closing this section was Danilee Trott, Events Coordinator for the Corporation of Hamilton, who offered information on the rules of vending in the City of Hamilton and the available opportunities for this industry.

The next section, titled "What's Your Best Fit?", focused on Bermuda's six established vendor markets and what they offer to the vendor.  Leading off the presentations was Danilee Trott of The City Market who explained the focus and goal of the market in its new location at Pier 6.  Delarie Outerbridge of the Rubber Tree Market followed and gave some insights into how transitioned from just being a vendor but sitting on the Rubber Tree Market Committee to help organize the weekly market. Cheryl Hayward-Chew of the St. George's Olde Towne Market was next and spoke of how she and a few key people in St. George’s saw a gap in activities and developed the market as a way to bring more people to the east end.  Marita Hinds of Somerset's Hidden Treasure's Market shared how that market was developed as a way to help those that found themselves unemployed or struggling to make ends meet.  Wedco's Rebekah Cabrall presented next and informed attendees that Destination Dockyard would be going through some changes for the next season and she wanted to gain feedback from attendees on what they would like to see.  Finally Joanne MacPhee, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce closed with an overview of Harbour Nights, now in its 21st year.  She provided some compelling tidbits on the key to running successful markets, avoiding pitfalls, and the growth opportunities in the vendor market industry.

After the panel discussions the evening shifted into an Information & Vendor Market Trade Show with information tables from each of the six vendor markets as well as the Government departments who presented.  The Office of the Tax Commissioner, the Department of Social Insurance, and the Department of Planning were also on hand to answer any questions.  Attendees were able to network and visit each table to have their specific questions answered one-on-one and obtain further detailed information for their vending business.

One attendee commented that they learned of the variety of vendor markets available in Bermuda” while another valued the information from other experienced vendors and government officers.”

Erica Smith, Director of BEDC's Economic Empowerment Zones Agency added that "The Vendor Market Seminar Series was designed to expose vendors to all the government requirements and information that they need to know so that their business venture can be successful and operate at the highest standards.  We at BEDC see growth opportunities for micro-enterprise hence our attention to this industry since 2006.  It is fitting that this 3-part series of seminars concluded during Global Entrepreneurship Week since GEW is an international celebration of entrepreneurship.  Micro-enterprise ventures are how many entrepreneurs get their start, thus we will continue to provide support and guidance to entrepreneurs to help support their growth from micro-entrepreneurs to owners of bigger businesses."

The Vendor Markets Seminar Series was hailed a success with over 130 people attending the series and those who attended all three seminars will be awarded a Certificate of Professional Development in Micro-Enterprise Management.

About BEDC

Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s premier source of free confidential business advice for entrepreneurs.  The mission is to serve Bermuda’s local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and loan guarantee support.   For more information visit www.bedc.bm

About EEZA

Since its inception, the EEZ initiative is being carried out by BEDC in accordance with the mandate given in the 2005 Throne Speech.