Honoring their commitment of “Taking Care of Business,” Office Depot held a Small Business Appreciation Day on Saturday, March 2, 2019, systemwide in the states of Florida, Georgia, and Texas. The idea was conceived and developed in conversations with local business leaders and implemented as a pilot program in 2018 by Christopher Ziadie, General Manager of the thriving Pembroke Pines, Florida location.
“Small Businesses are the economic drivers of our cities. They are the backbone of our local communities and their positive impact goes far beyond contributing to a city’s prosperity and creating local jobs,” said Ziadie. He enthusiastically added, “That is why I am an unwavering Small Business Advocate!”
Office Depot and Christopher Ziadie recognize the daily challenges local entrepreneurs face in becoming successful corporate citizens. Ziadie recognized that sometimes getting exposure for your business can be a daunting task. The event held on Saturday showcased local businesses and introduced them in an official setting to leaders that make purchasing decisions, other entrepreneurs interested in businesses-to-business networking, and the many customers that walked through Office Depot’s doors during the Small Business Appreciation event.
Seven businesses were selected to be featured at the front-of-store: Consulting 4 You CPR, Camp Embark, Goldson Spine & Rehabilitation Center, ReMax, Ameriprise Financial, SportClips Haircuts, and Fiery Irie Jamaican Restaurant.
Understanding the importance of events like this to the communities they serve, local leaders and other dignitaries came together to unequivocally support the event. In attendance were the Mayor of Pembroke Pines Franks Ortis, the Mayor of Southwest Ranches Doug McKay, District 4 Council Member Denise Schroeder, and Jamaica’s Consul General to Miami Oliver Mair.
In a brief address to the assembled entrepreneurs, dignitaries, elected officials, and customers, Ziadie shared, “Yes we are a single source of material support for community enterprises, but I wanted us to be more than that. We are your Small Business Partner!”
Christopher Ziadie was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the United States at a relatively young age. Working hard, he was able to find success until Hurricane Andrew took it all away. With the ability to get back on his feet and persevere, he contributes to friends, family, and the community. It is because of this background that the attendance of Oliver Mair, Consul General of Jamaica, was a very special moment for Zadie. The Consul General’s presence served to emphasize the growing power of not only the Caribbean consumer but of the Jamaican entrepreneur’s ability to provide much-needed quality goods and services.
Near the end of the very successful event, Ziadie wanted to verbalize one more Thank You to Office Depot for making it all possible. Speaking without a microphone and from the heart, Zadie explained, “Office Depot wants every General Manager to think of themselves as entrepreneurs first. When we are able to to that, like today, then we can truly “Take Care of Small Business!”