In this post we’ll be meeting Ms Marie Grech, Gozo Director Frank Salt Ltd. and member of the Gozo Business Chamber, for a short interview as part of the #MakeYourVoiceHeard campaign.
When did you join the GBC and why?
I joined the Gozo Business Chamber around 12 years ago. I was approached to join the real estate section and was eventually elected to the Council representing that sector. At the time Gozo – the world, in fact – was going through a recession, where businesses were struggling and the economy was low. It was a time when the GBC was lobbying tirelessly to somehow boost the economy, get the wheels of the economy turning again, and save businesses from closing down.
What are the benefits of being a member of the GBC?
The benefits are huge. First of all, when you are a member of such an organisation, you get to know what is going on in the country, whilst benefiting from support and help in the running of your business. The GBC is constantly working to obtain up-to-date information and better standards for Gozitan businesses, supporting them in whatever their needs might be. The biggest issue is the double insularity of Gozo, as well as striking the right balance between preserving Gozo’s charm and unique character and creating enough work to sustain the local businesses. This is not an easy task and might not be to everyone’s liking, but the wheel of the economy must keep turning for Gozo to survive.
What does the future hold for the GBC?
While Gozo is very small and can easily be monitored, the challenge is to strike a balance and preserve Gozo for future generations. The aim of the Chamber is to help create business for the locals and generate wealth, but the Chamber is also very conscious of not ruining Gozo and is doing its utmost to find that balance with the help of different authorities. Gozo must safeguard its heritage and cultural background at all costs, and the GBC is working towards this already.
I believe Gozo should have control on its own local plan on development and do what is needed and is best for the future. We cannot have a short-term vision, and must work towards ensuring that our schools, hospitals and clinics, roads and other critical infrastructure are sufficient to meet the needs of the people living on the island. Gozo cannot sustain substantial increases in the population and we must, therefore, aim at achieving quality rather than quantity. The GBC is very much aware of this issue and will keep working to achieve this balance for Gozo.
Why should other businesses join?
I do recommend that all businesses become members of the Gozo Business Chamber, even if just to stay informed on what’s going on in Gozo. The GBC gives everyone the opportunity to have their say, whatever this may be. There is little point in complaining about certain issues and then failing to become a member of the GBC and participating in the decision-making process. Moreover, there is strength in numbers, and I do really believe that if the GBC continues to bring the members of the business community together to share inspiration, ideas and needs, then Gozo will prosper into the future.
Become a member of the GBC today. Make your voice heard. Click here to download membership form.
The #MakeYourVoiceHeard campaign is an initiative that is being supported by the Ministry for Gozo NGO Assistance Scheme, a funding programme for voluntary organisations on the island of Gozo.