COCI ready to advise pop-up business model entrepreneurs

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L to R: Benjamin Ortega and Stanley Lint.

PHILIPSBURG – St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) Vice President Benjamin Ortega and COCI Board President Stanley Lint recently attended a trade fair on the island of Trinidad and were impressed with some of the business models they saw on display.

One such model is the so-called “Pop-up Shop” which is a flexible way of doing business.

A pop-up shop is a new form of entrepreneurship and is looked at as a temporary storefront space operated by a micro entrepreneur. It has become more prevalent in the global commerce environment and continues to grow in popularity as the art of doing business becomes more innovative.

“The pop-up store model is ingenious. It is a new trend and business phenomenon, a new entrepreneurial spirit.  You can start it on the street corner for example where customers come and shop for the day or weekend.

“There has to be some form of self-regulation and it’s the responsibility of the new-age entrepreneur to make sure that he or she gets the proper documents in order to operate.  For example, if you are selling some form of food, you need the necessary paperwork such as a food safety certificate,” COCI Vice President Benjamin Ortega pointed out.

The pop-up store is a short-term retail business venture that allows customers to purchase products and services firsthand. Pop-up store fronts can be found at events, markets or at an established retailer who rents out a portion of their space.

Pop-up business owners sell either a wide variety of merchandise or small selection of products.

COCI Executive Director Anastacio Baker, welcomes this form of small scale business and adds that the business owner can be creative where merchandising is concerned in order to attract customers.

“At COCI, we are here to facilitate any form of entrepreneurism.  The pop-up store owner needs to do their due diligence and we can assist with that.  We can advise them on certain things. Some of the areas that would have to be looked at is location, licensing etc.,” Baker explained.

COCI Board President Stanley Lint said he welcomes this different form of doing business, adding that there is room for this form of business model which would help the economy grow and benefit consumers.

“We need to stimulate economic activity, and pop-up shops are one way to contribute to the recovery of the economy of the country.  The benefits would include employment for the owner and financial support for his/her family of the pop-up; tax revenues for the Government; and products/services for consumers,” Lint said.