As we wrap up the year, it’s important to note the wonder of the island we live on and the businesses that continue to keep it running. As a new kid in town, I have seen the magnitude of surprises that Guam offers play out over the past six months — and to be honest, it’s quite a job to keep up. For example, let’s look at a newcomer’s view on our journey of tourism alone:
- May — July: Google alerts kept the world apprised of the exciting new place I was about to move to, with a booming tourism market that has the highest tourism numbers it’s seen in years. GVB reports second highest May numbers in history, a new record in June and July numbers that break a 20-year-old record.
- August — September: Not but two weeks prior to joining you all on island, North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and President Trump begin to rock the boat. World headlines talk of the safety of visiting Guam and a ‘slight decline’. Some panic arises among Guam hospitality businesses as Japanese school trips are canceled and airlines make big reductions — moves that were most likely planned prior to any current geo-political tension.
- October — present: Guam businesses realize it’s doing them no good to mope, and begin to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. September tourism numbers (surprise!) confirm that despite circulating fears, the island has in fact had its top fiscal year in Guam’s history.
Tourism is just one example of how quickly things can change on the islands. Around every corner there’s a new surprise — and we all have the choice to either let it power over prior plans or grab ahold and use the newest surprise to your business advantage.
Similarly, this year the Top Companies list provides an opportunity for businesses to measure their ability to deal with such surprises against similar businesses in the region. Participants can show their employees that they work for a strong and significant organization, even during volatile times. The list reflects an economic snapshot and includes not only comparative revenue data, but also the names of officers and listing of major players in various industries.
Some of the companies represented have been on the list from its very beginning in 1992 — continuing to thrive amidst the changes that come their way, and contribute to the community and grow, with and because of the surprises they encounter. Still others show another side of the coin — seeing special opportunity in the changes that come their way. For example, Best Sunshine, number one on the Top Companies for the second year, saw opportunity amidst controversy and in the work that comes in creating something so new to the market, and has burst through to lead the Top Companies list by hundreds of millions of dollars in its first full year of business. This type of company shows potential investors and prospective customers, vendors and joint venture partners the opportunities that they didn’t even know existed when they visit the region.
No matter if you’re the business that ‘keeps the lights on’, or the new kid in town, it’s Guam and the island’s surprises that make our business offerings and community unique. We hope this issue aides in the development of your business as you navigate and enjoy the surprises that come your way and measure your accomplishments against those of the top companies that do business in Micronesia.