Branderz Guyana launched a new multi-million dollar, custom-designing facility yesterday on Gordon Street, Kitty, which Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin says is a testament to the company’s confidence in the country’s economy.
While Branderz Guyana had started out as a business where printing on clothing and branding on items were done overseas and then imported, founder Martin Brock explained that the company has since invested in equipment that will allow it to sew its own clothes, which it will be able to print on and embroider with its own equipment. The company is now able to do its own branding on items and has also procured its own Ultra Violet (UV) printing apparatus, which Brock said is the first of its kind in the country.
Speaking yesterday at the new building on Gordon Street, Gaskin said that while there has been a slowdown in the economy and economic growth over the last three years, it is still growing and there are projections for its continued growth over the years to come.
“…That is very important because our neighbours in Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, Trinidad and even Barbados are all projected to achieve less than 1% growth for this year. Our projections are a little over 3%, so let us not talk ourselves out of a good thing,” Gaskin said, while adding that the investment adds to the economic growth.
“It is not the government that is going to have to develop the various sectors of our economy and create jobs that we want created. It is the private sector that has to do it. So, we need to build confidence in our private sector and again I say this investment clearly shows your confidence and it will certainly encourage others to invest,” Gaskin added.
He emphasised the importance of private sector investment.
“This is the reality of our economy. There are many positives happening already. If you want to position your business for future growth and development then you need to start investing today,” he said, while highlighting that he is encouraging persons to refrain from peddling “fake bad news” about the economy and its supposed imminent downfall, which only negatively affects investors’ confidence.
“I am happy for the economy because investment tends to encourage more investment because they convey a sense of confidence and that confidence is infectious. You are making a contribution by setting an example. I know that borrowing money and investing is risky and we must always give credit to those who take those risks so again kudos to you on the risks,” Gaskin added.
Brock explained that the business had started out six years ago doing its branding and other printing services overseas and would often be met with uncontrollable challenges, which led to the decision to further invest in the company.
He explained that he started thinking about how the company could be different from the competition in the country and decided to make a decision that would make businesses compete with him instead of the other way around.
Brock recalled when his rooms in his house would be filled with boxes from work, which he said was the first sign that an investment in a bigger building was needed.
While Brock was hesitant to give the exact size of the investment, he confirmed that it was a US multi-million one, with some 30% coming from Citizens Bank, with a 15-year payback period. The company has since moved from a staff of three to 20 and he said it plans on employing about 15 more.