CNMI SBDCN, SCC, & GCEA Present the Marianas Business Pride 2022 Small Business Survey and Summit



(Capitol Hill, Saipan – June 27, 2022) The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network (SBDCN), in collaboration with the Saipan Chamber of Commerce (SCC) and the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (GCEA), launched the Marianas Business Pride 2022 CNMI Small Business Survey today, Tuesday, June 28. The data collected from this anonymous survey will be used to improve resources and support for the small business community in the CNMI.


The Marianas Business Pride 2022 CNMI Small Business Survey will run from June 28-July 8– a total of 10 days. The SBDCN, SCC, and GCEA will host a Friends of Business Summit centered on the results of this survey. The summit will feature roundtable discussions, guest speakers, and presentations to further the conversation about the challenges small business owners face, identify key issues and create solutions. All small business owners are invited to complete the survey at https://www.cnmieconomy.com.


“As a GCEA council member, my subcommittee on Small Business Development and Retention was tasked with contributing to the CNMI Economic 10-year Strategic Plan. We will collaborate with SBDCN and SCC to hold a summit that would include discussions about small business development and retention issues, such as barriers to starting a business in the CNMI and the challenges of operating a business locally,” said Joe Guerrero, SCC President & GCEA Council Member.


Guerrero also noted that SBDCN and SCC hope to formulate solutions to present to the GCEA for consideration as it composes its recommendations to the Governor, the CNMI House of Representatives, and the CNMI Senate.


“The survey aims to identify the topmost pressing concerns that small businesses have about developing their businesses and operating in the CNMI, learning from them firsthand is what matters the most.” Guerrero added.


In addition, CNMI SBDCN Interim Network Director Mercilynn K. Palec said last January, the CNMI achieved a historical milestone when the Northern Marianas College (NMC) was selected as the host for the SBDCN. This opportunity will advance Northern Marianas College’s ability to serve the community by supporting the small business sector’s capacity to stimulate economic growth and foster entrepreneurship in the CNMI.


“One of the ideas within our strategic plan is to have the Friends of Business summit to address the challenges that CNMI small business owners are currently facing. We hope to gather all stakeholders, partners, and small business owners to address current challenges in starting, running, and growing a small business as well as producing meaningful solutions,” Palec said. “We invite small businesses to please fill out this survey so that we can learn more about the challenges they’re facing at the Friends of Business Summit.”


Guerrero also encourages all businesses to help by participating in the survey and summit. He said, “We need as many businesses as possible to fill out our short survey so that we may identify and address the issues that matter most for small businesses. Small businesses in the CNMI employ thousands of individuals so whatever we do to help businesses we will be helping many lives. With the information gathered through the survey, roundtable, and summit, our aim is to recommend policies that will have positive long-lasting effects on businesses and community.”


For more information, contact Lee Tenorio, SCC Executive Director, at (670) 234-7150 or email at executive@saipanchamber.com.


The CNMI Small Business Development Center Network (CNMI SBDCN) comprises the CNMI SBDC lead center located in Saipan, the Rota SBDC, and Tinian SBDC. CNMI SBDCN is partially funded by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Northern Marianas College. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Requests for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.


Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals with at least two weeks advance notice. For arrangements, please contact Tel: (670) 237-6888 or email mercilynn.palec@marianas.edu. Services are extended to the public on a non- discriminatory basis. To register as a client, please visit marianas.ecenterdirect.com.