The Covid-19 Pandemic laid bare the importance of enterprise resilience to every business on island.
While the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, has made Disaster Risk Reduction a critical element of its Business Education program over the last few year, pre-covid-19, it is clear that a broader perspective is necessary.
As such the Chamber is using its network reach to bring possible solutions and approaches to its members. Through the Karayibe Klima Project involving the Martinique Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce with St. Lucia Chamber as Coalition Lead a one year program of activities and awareness has been ongoing.
Training Programs on Disaster Risk Diagnosis and the development of a Guide were held for the three Chamber members, additionally Business Continuity Planning Training workshops were also conducted . Then for the first time the issue of psychosocial support to employees after a disaster or crises was conducted to seek to spread the word on how these persons in need would be helped.
In fact, in build awareness on the subject Business Continuity Planning a public education campaign was launched in each of the three islands in an effort educate the public and businesses in particular about the value and process of conducting and using BCP as a risk mitigation strategy.
Using radio and television public education and information campaigns on BCP were developed. Supporting partners in St. Lucia include the Wave Radio, Vybe Radio and on Calabash TV. An aggressive social media campaign has also been launched with significant reach already being recorded. A Business Resilience Hub has also been created that will feature on the Chamber's Website to serve as a repository of information and resources on resilience.
The St. Lucia Chamber has gone a step further to be intimately involved with the Network of Caribbean Chambers, which ED Brian Louisy is now the Chairman. CARICHAM and its ARISE Network has developed the CARICHAM Business Resilience Toolkit in partnership with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR).
The toolkit has been complemented with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This tool, launched on March 31st comprises the following elements:
• CARICHAM Business Continuity Plan Template and Guide available in English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Haitian Creole
• CARICHAM Business Continuity Planning videos in English, French and Spanish
• CARICHAM Family Friendly Business Continuity Plan Supplementary Checklist
The CARICHAM Network has been supported by outstanding partners who contributed to the successful development of this toolkit.
UNDRR a committed CARICHAM Partner, provided financing and technical guidance in the completion of this toolkit. McAllister and Craig Disaster Management Inc provided technical support for the development of the toolkit's design and trained CARICHAM Chambers’ staff and resource personnel in the use of the Business Continuity Guide and Template.
CARICHAM also got significant support from IOM who supported the translation of the BCP template and guide to Dutch and Haitian Creole. UNICEF collaborated with UNDRR on the completion of the Family Friendly Business Continuity Plan Supplementary Checklist to ensure that the private sector takes into consideration the needs of families and vulnerable people.
The St. Lucia Chamber will be making the templates and guide available to members in short order.
The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is located at Orange Park Commercial Building, 1st Floor, Bois D’Orange, Gros Islet.
Advocating on behalf of members with the public sector. Increased visibility and credibility. Business training and education information sharing and networking.
A chamber of commerce is an organization of business owners and entrepreneurs who promote the interests of their local business community. Chambers of commerce provide access to valuable resources, discounts, and relationships that help businesses save money and market their products.
Chambers of Commerce will act to promote public policies that are in the best interest of business, in general. Specific Chambers of Commerce may also attempt to promote policies that serve specific industries or geographic locations.