(Jamaica Observer). National Baking Company has received more than 200 applications for this year’s staging of its two-day expo for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses across the country.
“This is a good indication that local entrepreneurs are realising the true benefits of the event,” said National Baking Company Chairman and CEO Gary “Butch” Hendrickson who conceptualised the trade show named ‘A Jamaican-Made Christmas’.
The event, scheduled for November 26-27 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, is aimed at giving small and medium manufacturing businesses a platform to reach a larger audience than their resources may otherwise allow.
This year, National will accommodate approximately 90 applicants — up from 60 last year — by reconfiguring the layout of the floor to facilitate more exhibitors.
The event, now in its third year, provides small manufacturers and artisans the opportunity to display and sell their products to consumers looking for local and unique Christmas gift ideas. The event also promotes the culture of supporting Jamaican entrepreneurs and products by buying local.
Hendrickson said the most common feedback is the level of exposure the event gives to entrepreneurs. To ensure this continues and benefits even more businesses, Hendrickson explained that companies that participated in the last two stagings will not be allowed to participate again this year as his company remains committed to extending the same opportunities to other small businesses.
“The event keeps growing and after each event we carefully dissect it to see how businesses and customers could get even more value,” Hendrickson said. “For example, last year we implemented the entrance charge, which saw shoppers paying a fee which was reissued to them in shopping vouchers. This year, we are inviting new businesses while giving shoppers more variety to choose from.”