On Thursday, 13 March 2014, Nelson Mandela Bay small businesses flocked to New Brighton’s Nangoza Jebe Hall hoping to convince major subcontractors working on the R1.7-billion Baywest Mall development to use them on the project.
The first of its kind for a major development in the region, the Baywest Subcontractor Expo saw the major subcontractors involved on the mammoth development hold face-to-face meetings with SMMEs hoping to also benefit from work on site.
Transformation manager for the mall’s principal contractor Murray Roberts, Sheldon Mayet told SMMEs that the opportunity was a first for small businesses in the region.
“We [Murray Roberts] have not done something like this before,” Mayet said. “This is an opportunity to network with the subcontractors which match your skills. The opportunity is yours. Our subcontractors want to be able to transfer their skills [to small businesses].”
Five Star waterproofing SMME owner Leonardo Petersen, who attended the expo with employee Lee Boucher, said the expo was a great chance to market his business to larger subcontractors, not just for the Baywest project, but also for future projects.
“This has been very useful because it’s more than just my name sitting on a database, it’s a chance for me to market myself directly to the subcontractors on the project,” said Petersen.
“It has also allowed me to find out what the subcontractor’s needs are and where my business can assist.”
Baywest waterproofing subcontractor Michael Crafford, of Aspect Waterproofing, said the expo was “the way to go” to expose SMMEs to more business opportunities.
“This expo gives me the chance to meet SMMEs face to face. It also allows me to better gauge if the small business owner knows what they are talking about,” said Crafford.
Baywest project manager Chris Beech said one of the priorities of the mall’s developers, Abacus Asset Management and Billion Group, was to involve as many previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) and black businesses as possible.
“We are making every effort for as much skills transfer to local businesses as possible within the short construction period,” Beech said.
The expo comes a week before the mall celebrates its “one year until opening” milestone.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/03/small-business-roadshow/