Apr 04, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) this past year, despite performing poorly financially, saw its membership increased to almost double its prior two years’ representation, making the Business Support Organisation (BSO), the largest in Guyana.
This was the report presented to GCCI membership on Saturday, by GCCI President, Nicholas Deygoo-Boyer, who presented the report for the BSO’s financial year 2020 to 2021at the entity’s 131st Annual General Meeting (AGM).
According to Deygoo-Boyer, GCCI has been able to amass 201 new members over the past two years—a feat in itself.
Notably the hallmark of Guyana’s economy over the past two years has been the commencement of oil production in December 2019 with the country exporting in excess of 35 million barrels of oil to date.
During that time, according to the GCCI President, “our Chamber has now been able to almost double its membership, standing at about 420 members, by and far, the largest BSO in Guyana.”
He noted that “of these, many continue to be extremely active in the Chamber, participating in committees, programmes, webinars and, benefitting from the work of their Chamber.
He recounted that the past year “as we are all aware, was an unprecedented start to a new year. First-hand, we have seen how fragile our lives are, and we have witnessed the precarious nature of our business community.”
The GCCI president noted too, that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with a period of political “uncertainty both posed significant threats to our community’s health, the prosperity of our businesses, and the strength of our economy…However, your Chamber continued to press on steadfastly.”
Reporting on the financial affairs of the BSO, Deygoo-Boyer noted that despite the increased membership “this year, our financial performance declined when compared to previous years, afflicted by the inability to host our in-person physical events, an extended period of slowed business growth, and a general dampened global and domestic environment during 2020.”
As such, the GCCI recorded an operating deficit of $3.9M down from $7.3M, a usual surplus of operation.
He noted however that “this operating deficit however, is due primarily to the fact that income from our two main fundraiser events of the GCCI – the Annual Awards & Gala Dinner as well as the Business Guyana Magazine – were not recognized until January 2021 due to both events being delayed.”
As such, he explained that “these figures will be reflected in the subsequent financial evaluation of the Chamber and will be sure to provide a strong rebound to the financial performance of the organization in the upcoming fiscal year.”
He did report that importantly, cash and cash equivalents for GCCI totalled $66.2M at the end of the year, up from $44.2M in 2019.
Additionally, the Balance Sheet position improved from $90.4M in 2019 to G$113.9M in 2020. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying impact on business, the revenue stream for the future looks promising for the Chamber as we continue our vigorous efforts to increase main revenue drivers while diversifying.
The GCCI president used the occasion to observe that “as Guyana seeks to build a sustainable, resilient economy in the face of challenges, so too does the GCCI aim to continue its evolution into a diverse organization that thrives in spite of headwinds.”
It was pointed out too, that in August 2020, after several months of delays, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government took office in Guyana, with His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali being sworn in as the Executive President of Guyana and that in the ensuing months, the GCCI established a collaborative working relationship with the new political administration.
This, he said, is “with the aim of fostering greater economic growth and overall social development.”
The Chamber, he said, “remains committed to helping businesses navigate a new road map and will continue to advocate robustly on all business-related issues on our members’ behalf.”
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