Department of Commerce acting secretary Edward Deleon Guerrero is changing how people perceive the department’s function. Aside from its primary function of processing permits and releasing business regulations, they offer available guidance and assistance to current business owners and especially, to those who are budding entrepreneurs.
“I am advocating for new business and current businesses expanding in the CNMI that if they need help, they can come to our office for assistance and guidance because the Department of Commerce exists to help businesses… we have programs that includes assistance to small business because we want to work with them,” he said.
“We are not only a permitting agency. My philosophy is in order for us to succeed, people will have to succeed. Our emphasis is to hold hands with the business people to make sure they follow all the regulations because this will ensure their success,” he added.
Deleon Guerrero is aware that there are many people in the community who want to get into business but the thought intimidates them. “I encourage people to come out and get into entrepreneurship. My office is here to provide guidance and help them go through opening step by step. We also gives advice on how to organize and putting your business together and also financially.
“People get intimidated when they talk about business. I know it is not easy there’s a lot of uncertainty and I think that is what holds people back. But if you know that there is a team that can guide and make it easier for them, then that dream can be realized,” he added.
Deleon Guerrero was recently on Rota to meet with officials and business people and next on the list is Tinian. “My plans include going around the islands to let the community what we can do for them—not only Commerce but also there are other government agencies that can help them. We have to make sure that the rules that people do not understand, we will explain,” he said.
With the many challenges we are facing, we want the community to know that opportunity awaits them and we are here to help,” he added.
The CNMI Department of Commerce is located on Capital Hill. They are open Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm. For more information, call (670) 664-3000