Guam - By the end of the year, the new Guam Chamorro and Educational Facility is set to open its doors. And while construction is underway in Hagatna, stakeholders are working to ensure that local businesses and artists are right there every step of the way.

Its commonly known as the Guam Museum but its considered a rather multi-faceted institution. Along with an all-purpose room, an exhibit hall, a 200-seat auditorium and an outdoor theater, the Guam Chamorro and Educational Facility is set to not only provide a "cultural Mecca" for tourists and locals but offer a unique retail opportunity for local businesses, producers and artists.

Administrator of the Guam Museum Foundation Leona Young said, "The first thing we need to do is engage our local small businesses and cultural producers and artists to make sure the visitor experience is unique and they would have first hand at what's local, what's truly Guam."

And today the Guam Museum Foundation and the Department of Chamorro Affairs hosted a special conference aimed at assisting the dozens of local, small, emerging new businesses to further commerce activity in the museum. Young explained today's theme of "The Museum Effect", saying, "The Museum Effect is all the different components around the museum it could be commerce activity, it could be education, it could be sights and sounds, the parks, there's just so much to promote around the museum not just within the museum but the in the immediate surroundings."

From discussing museum marketplace standards to principles in retailing, several professionals in their trade shared their insight on how to capitalize on this unique retail opportunity. Some of the speakers included representatives from GVB and GEDA, the University of Guam and the Chamorro Village, and local businesses like Crowns Guam, Coco Jo's and Zories Only.

Guest speaker and GMFI board member Francis Guerrero said, "You have visitors that come into the island and they are truly looking for things that are authentically Guam, so it makes a big difference the ideas you put forth."

The business conference was made possible through a $50,000 rural business enterprise grant through the USDA. The museum meanwhile is set to open in December.