Finance/Business

GOOD NEWS: Over 600 to benefit from new VAT threshold; “We have listened to their concerns” – says PM

Government has proposed raising the Value Added Tax (VAT) threshold from $180,000 to $400,000. This means that over 600 VAT registrants will not be required to collect VAT on behalf of the government, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced in his 2015 Budget Statement on Tuesday. “We have recognized that these smaller registrants are continuously seeking filing assistance from ...

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Slight increase in electricity bills likely

Residents may pay a little more for electricity later this year if a government proposal to increase the charge on fuel purchased by St. Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC) by 50 cents per imperial gallon – for the second consecutive year – takes effect. In his Budget Statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony said it is better to raise ...

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US$90 million Hilton-branded hotel development comes to St. Kitts

PRESS RELEASE – Currently under construction in Pelican Bay, St. Kitts will debut a 226-suite Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel in the first quarter of 2017. This announcement was made by Hilton Hotels on Wednesday, May 6, following the signing of a franchise agreement with Caribbean-based developers Sterling Developments. “We welcome Hilton Hotels to the island,” said the Hon. Mr. ...

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Pension and lump sum benefits to increase

PRESS RELEASE – Effective July 1, 2015, pension and lump sum benefits paid by the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) will increase. This announcement was made by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, in Tuesday’s 2015/2016 Budget Statement. The Prime Minister informed that these changes have been approved by the International Labour Organization (ILO), based on an actuarial review of the ...

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NWU submits request for recognition certificate for FCIS

PRESS RELEASE – Clerical, technical and non-managerial workers employed with First Citizens Investment Services Limited, St. Lucia have become members of the National Workers Union (NWU). As a result the NWU has submitted a recognition claim to the Labour Commissioner, Mr. Ray Narcisse on behalf of the staff. The National Workers Union (NWU)’s letter is in keeping with the present ...

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PM reveals projected increases in government revenue

NATIONWIDE – Government revenue is steadily increasing as citizens and corporations become more tax compliant. With the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance ready to deliver his 2015 Budget Address on Tuesday, May 12, the entire nation is preparing to see and hear the budget debate expected to follow on Thursday and Friday, May 14 and 15. The Opposition failed ...

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First Citizens challenges young people: “Change your money mindset!”

PRESS RELEASE – “Who wants be a millionaire?” The hands went up even before the question reached the back of the room. “Now, who wants to be a billionaire?” Even more hands stretched as First Citizens Trader and Liquidity Management Officer Cindy JnBaptiste began to deliver her presentation on “The Millionaire Mindset.” The occasion was the First Citizens Investment Services ...

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ECCB deputy governor says the EC dollar strong as ever

GIS – The Eastern Caribbean currency has been pegged to the United States dollar at a fixed rate of EC $2.70 since 1976. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has said that the EC dollar is as strong as ever despite the withdrawal of the currency’s one-cent and two-cent coins. Deputy Governor for the ECCB, Trevor Brathwaite, said the Eastern ...

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Caribbean economic growth expected to decline again

Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean is expected to decline for a fifth consecutive year, dipping below one percent in 2015, the IMF said in its latest regional forecast. The IMF’s recently released Regional Economic Outlook for the Western Hemisphere projects growth in Latin America and the Caribbean at 0.9 percent in 2015, down from 1.3 percent last year. ...

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Antillia Brewing Co. releases Passionfruit Ale for Jazz Festival

PRESS RELEASE – The Antillia Brewing Company Ltd. is pleased to announce the launch of its Passionfruit Ale, the 2nd in a series of craft beers drawing inspiration from St. Lucia’s bounty of fresh, local agricultural products. Antillia Brewing’s Brewmaster Andrew Hashey commented: “The incorporation of local fruits and ingredients of cultural significance to St. Lucia in our recipes is ...

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Summary of PM Anthony’s 2015/16 Budget Estimates speech

Below is a summary of the Prime Minister’s presentation to introduce the Estimates: FISCAL OVERVIEW The 2014-2015 has been developed within the context of continuing challenges faced in raising financing necessary to undertake the work programme of the government during the last fiscal year. The challenges faced during the preceding year have made us more cognizant of the need to ...

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NOTICE: BOSL service disruption

PRESS RELEASE – Please be advised that BOSL will be conducting scheduled upgrades to our systems on Friday May 1st 2015 from 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Our Convenience Banking Services, specifically Complete Online Banking, Telebanking, Mobile Banking, ATMs & Cash Dispensers, Point-of-Sale (POS) and Debit Card Services – will be unavailable for the duration of the upgrade. We thank ...

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St. Lucia hotel makes top-10 luxury list

Cap Maison in Saint Lucia made the top 10 list of the “best luxury hotels in the Caribbean”, according to a United Kingdom-based newspaper. The Telegraph’s “guide to the top luxury places to stay in the Caribbean” also includes hotels in Antigua, Jamaica and Barbados. In its review on Cap Maison, the newspaper stated: “Near the northern tip of St ...

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Accelerate Caribbean Business Incubation Clinic competition launched

A new project was recently launched to boost Caribbean entrepreneurship and further stimulate job creation in St Lucia and the wider Caribbean. Accelerate Caribbean is a new programme, managed by infoDev / the World Bank Group and funded by the Government of Canada, that is aimed at strengthening entrepreneurship across the region. The agency is currently running a competition to ...

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CAB looks forward to resolution on correspondent banking relations

PRESS RELEASE – The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) fully supports the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honourable Gaston A. Browne in his remarks to the meeting of CARICOM Heads and the President of the United States Mr Barack Obama on Thursday 9th April in Jamaica. The Honourable Gaston Browne highlighted a very real and grave threat to the ...

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Focus group meetings to aid development of services policy

GIS – The process of developing a gender responsive and results-based Services Policy, Strategy And Action Plan for Saint Lucia intensifies this week, as gender and private sector experts from Chaitoo and Associates visit the island. The representatives will conduct a series of focus group meetings with service providers, as well as in-depth interviews with industry leaders in various service ...

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Invest Saint Lucia to host ‘Domestic Business Forum’

PRESS RELEASE – In keeping with its mandate to increase direct investment in Saint Lucia, Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) will host a Domestic Business Forum on Tuesday April 21st 2015, under the theme “Investment Opportunities and Issues for Local Business”. This event is envisioned as a one day occasion, which will seek to present real investment opportunities for domestic business as ...

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TEPA offers another module of ProNET training program to SMEs

PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) in collaboration with Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) will be hosting the Quality Management module of the ProNET Training Program, from April 22nd – 23rd, 2015 from 9:00am to 4:30pm, at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transportation, Union, Castries. Quality Management is critical ...

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Hummingbird Beach Resort celebrates 35th anniversary (press release)

THE BEGINNING The Hummingbird was started by Joan Alexander-Stowe and her business partner Paul Simmonds, a renowned English Chef, as a small batik studio and restaurant located in Soufriere. In the late 1979 a beach front property which was located in walking distance from the batik studio and restaurant was purchased to develop an 11 rooms property, a garden cottage, ...

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Caribbean and Central American countries get catastrophe risk insurance

PRESS RELEASE – The Council of Ministers of Finance of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (COSEFIN) and CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) on Saturday, April 18 signed a memorandum of understanding that enables Central American countries to formally join the facility to access low cost, high quality sovereign catastrophe risk insurance. During the ceremony, ...

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Chamber of Commerce to host first executive luncheon

PRESS RELEASE – The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture will be hosting its first Executive Luncheon for 2015 at the Coco Palm Resorts- Rodney Bay on Wednesday April 22nd 2015. The speaker is Mr. Grady Clarke, CEO of the Caribbean Credit Bureau who has been running a successful Credit Bureau in Barbados and the Caribbean for over ...

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Creole Jazz will boost Soufriere town’s economy – PRO

GIS – With headliners like Jah Cure, the Bouillion Pioneers (formerly WCK) out of Dominica, Avot Servis and Teddyson John, Soufriere Creole Jazz 2015 is set to be an event to remember. Public Relations Officer for Soufriere Creole Jazz 2015, Candy Nicholas, said the event will boost the town’s economy. “With a line up like that and for an event ...

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ECCB upgrades security thread for banknotes

PRESS RELEASE – As part of its thrust to maintain the integrity and security of the EC currency, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has upgraded the security thread on all banknotes, with the exception of the $5.00 banknote. The update to the security thread in the notes is in keeping with the advancement in technology to prevent counterfeiting. The ...

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Local demand for Strongbow increases

PRESS RELEASE – Congratulations Saint Lucia! You have shown that when it comes to being on the cutting edge for taste, choice and the thrill of exciting new flavours – you have hit the bulls-eye. Clearly, you have made Strongbow Apple Ciders the apple of more than just your eyes, but your discerning taste buds too. Coming into the first ...

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CFL supports regional under-16 netball tournament

PRESS RELEASE – Consolidated Foods Ltd. continues to be associated with netball in St. Lucia with commitments to St. Lucia’s participation in and hosting of the Jean Pierre under 16 Netball Tournament, which starts on Saturday April 9 and ends on April 17, 2015. The company has thrown its full support behind St. Lucia NationalNetball Associationas the host of the tournament, ...

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Senators view Banking Act as a means of deepening regional ties

GIS – At a Senate sitting yesterday, senators voiced support for the proposed Banking Act, stating that it would only serve to deepen regional integration. Senator Hon. Kentry Jn. Pierre, responding to questions on whether the new legislation will require Saint Lucia to relinquish too much authority to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, said the new Act was just another ...

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Grenada reaches deal to restructure $262 million in debt (Will Saint Lucia follow?)

WALL STREET JOURNAL – Grenada has reached an agreement with its creditors to restructure $262 million of bonds that the small Caribbean island country defaulted on in 2013. Bondholders have agreed in principle to a 50% haircut in the bonds’ original value, according to a government statement. In exchange, Grenada’s government will issue new bonds due in 2030 to existing ...

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ECCB to take some coins out of circulation

“Effective 1 July 2015, the I cent and 2 cent EC coins will be withdrawn from circulation.” This was the first line of a statement issued by Deputy Governor of the Easter Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Trevor O.B Brathwaite. According to the statement, the decision was taken by the Monetary Council of the ECCB in light of the high production ...

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Courts launches “Bold Flavours” Appliance Campaign

PRESS RELEASE – Customers of St. Lucia’s leading retailers of the world’s best brands in Furniture, Electrical and Appliances can look forward to an exciting month of amazing deals and offers to last until the 9th of May. Courts St. Lucia has done it again, offering their valued customers’ chances to win cash, prizes and unbelievable product deals that will ...

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TEPA’s National Export Council to meet OECS director

PRESS RELEASE – On Thursday, April 9 2015, The Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency’s (TEPA’s) National Export Council (NEC) will convene a meeting with OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules and delegates from the Economic Development Unit (EDU) based in Dominica. This meeting is scheduled for 10am at the offices the OECS Secretariat, Morne Fortune, Castries. TEPA contends that ...

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ECFH appoints Group Managing Director

PRESS RELEASE – The East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited (ECFH) Board of Directors has announced the confirmation of the appointment of Mrs. Esther Brown-Weekes to the post of Group Managing Director with effect from 1st January 2015. Mrs. Brown-Weekes’ experience spans several years in the financial services sector in the areas of Financial Management, Risk Management and Strategic Management. ...

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Business opportunity for young people in the south

PRESS RELEASE – The Organization for Entrepreneurship, Rural Development, Women and Youth; a Community Based Organization in the South of Saint Lucia is looking for four (4) innovative business concept note. A Call for Action in Entrepreneurship is therefore being placed to young men and women from the Southern and South Western parts of Saint Lucia (Mabouya Valley, Micoud through ...

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Fond Doux Plantation & Resort announces new development and awards

PRESS RELEASE – Fond Doux Plantation & Resort is proud to announce exciting new developments andawards for the year so far. Having completed 2014 with a bang, receiving a number of awards from Travel Weekly and Tripadvisor to name a few, Fond Doux is at it again. Fond Doux has been granted the Award of Excellence from the Booking.com Guest ...

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Gittens: Decks stacked against LIAT

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Did LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer David Evans go beyond his duties, or was he trying to move the airline beyond its financial problems to a more profitable alternative, that would involve the creation of a new airline? Those appear to be the factors at the heart of statements from Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who ...

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SLUSH magazine launches mobile app

PRESS RELEASE – On Friday 27th March, 2015, SLUSH Magazine presented the SLUSH Magazine Mobile App to an intimate audience at the Palm Ville Conference Centre at Coco Palm Hotel, Rodney Bay Village. Presenting sponsors for the evening of creativity and innovation included Verge Media, Consolidated Foods Ltd. (CFL) and Azuk Events. Slush Magazine was first launched in 2011 as ...

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Chamber of Commerce Quarterly general meeting

PRESS RELEASE – A General Meeting of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture is scheduled for Thursday 9th April 2015. General Meetings of the Chamber are provides opportunities to update the membership on the work of the Chamber, as well serves as a forum for members to voice concerns on issues affecting their businesses. The meeting which ...

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Digicel SportsMax secures NBA rights

PRESS RELEASE – Digicel and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today a new multiyear partnership that will deliver live games and extensive NBA programming to more than 30 Caribbean territories and make Digicel the Official Partner of the NBA in the region. Digicel SportsMax will broadcast up to 48 NBA regular-season games and as many as eight playoff games ...

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Economist says Saint Lucia not in position to reduce VAT

Saint Lucia cannot move to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on food or any other commodities at this time, due to the country’s current financial situation. This is the view expressed by economist, Richard Peterkin, when asked to comment on whether Saint Lucia could make a similar move to that of the new Saint Kitts and Nevis (SKN) government. “St ...

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Industrial impasse between NWU and BOSL resolved

PRESS RELEASE – An Industrial impasse between the Management of Bank of Saint Lucia (BOSL) and the National Workers Union (NWU) has been successfully resolved. Earlier Tuesday March 31, 2015 technical, clerical and other line staff employed with the Bank at Soufriere, Vieux Fort, Bridge Street, Waterfront, Gros Islet and other operational units engaged in a lightning industrial protest. About ...

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CGTI takes board governance training to Turks and Caicos

PRESS RELEASE – According to Dr. Chris Bart of the Saint Lucia-based Caribbean Governance Training Institute (CGTI): “It’s not easy being a good corporate director these days. There are three essential qualifications that all directors must meet if they are to properly do their job. I call them the 3 C’s of great governance: Competence, Curiosity and Courage.” Equipping directors ...

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ECFH employees on strike over revised position on wages and salaries

Employees of the East Caribbean Financial Holding Company (ECFH) have decided to down their tools in protest for higher wages and salaries, and better working conditions. The employees have been standing outside the Castries branch since 8:00 a.m. Secretary General of the National Workers Union (NWU) George Goddard told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the protest is in response ...

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Saint Lucia passes act to regulate banking sector

GIS – Parliament passed the Banking Act at last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly. Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister for Finance, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony described the bill as one of the most dramatic pieces of legislation that will be enacted in the parliaments of OECS states to regulate the region’s banking sector. According to ...

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St. James’s Club Morgan Bay recognised for excellent service

SLHTA –The St. James’s Club Morgan Bay St. Lucia was the proud recipient of the “Award of Excellence” from Booking.com. This prestigious award is part of the Booking.com Guest Reviews. The award was presented to the resort in recognition for their dedication and care in meeting and exceeding guests expectations. The St. James’s Club Morgan Bay St. Lucia continues to ...

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OECS trade ministers to meet in St. Lucia

The inaugural meeting of trade ministers from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) takes place here on Monday. A statement from the St. Lucia-based OECS Commission said the meeting will serve as a forum for ministers to discuss matters regarding trade policy and related issues. “The primary objective of this Meeting is to agree to strategic approaches to be ...

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Barbados approves CWC-Columbus merger, conditionally

The Fair Trading Commission of Barbados (FTC) Friday gave conditional approval for Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) to acquire Columbus International. The companies mainly operate under the brand names of LIME and Flow, respectively. In a statement, the FTC said that it had considered the overall efficiencies of the merger and the anti-competitive effects it will create in the ...

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Brydens launches Huggies Mother’s Day Promotion

PRESS RELEASE – Brydens Saint Lucia has teamed up with Kimberly-Clark, the company responsible for the Huggies brand, for another fabulous Mother’s Day promotion. And, just as Huggies is renowned for pampering babies and keeping them dry, comfortable and refreshed, this latest promotion will offer some wonderful pampering for moms as well. With every purchase of Huggies diapers, pull-ups, or ...

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Digicel calls on ECTEL to clarify regulatory process in C&W’s proposed acquisition of FLOW

PRESS RELEASE – Digicel today respectfully called upon the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (‘ECTEL’) to publicly clarify and confirm the present status of the regulatory approvals process being undertaken by them in conjunction with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (‘NTRCs’) in relation to the proposed merger between Cable and Wireless Communications (‘CWC’) and FLOW / Columbus Communications Inc. (‘Columbus’); ...

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Haynes leaves the SLHTA, says goodbye to the media

Zina Zita Haynes, the public relations and information officer, has announced her resignation from the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) in an email to media houses on Friday, March 27. Haynes, who joined the SLHTA on Jan. 3, 2012, said as her “last days draw near” she thanks everyone for the “industry exposure, support and the friendships” she cultivated ...

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“OVERTAXED” – UWP to review VAT

The United Workers Part (UWP) is planning to review the country’s tax system, particularly the Value Added Tax (VAT), Party Leader Allen Chastanet has said. Chastanet ‘s statements come in light of Wednesday’s announcement by the newly-elected St. Kitts-Nevis (SKN) government that it plans to remove VAT on food, medicine and funeral expenses effective April 7, 2015. In a national ...

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Launch events for BCCC Saint Lucia concludes

PRESS RELEASE – A week of meetings and events to mark the official launch of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Saint Lucia was concluded with a cocktail party hosted on Cap Estate by Chamber President, John Kennedy, attended by Her Excellency the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister Dr The Honourable Kenny Anthony, former ...

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Educator urges St. Lucia government to carefully screen investors

JAMAICA GLEANER – General Secretary of the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte, has called on authorities here to take steps to reassure the rest of the world that this country is committed to adequately screening potential investors. Her comments were made in the wake of the Lambirds Academy scandal in which 70 Asian students remained were stranded ...

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St Lucia Distillers upgrades barrel cooperage

PRESS RELEASE – St. Lucia Distillers in a drive to improve the techniques in coopering at its organisation, sent two of their coopers to an intensive week’s training at the Angostura Distillery in Trinidad, learning to repair and maintain the wooden barrels in which rum is placed to age and mature. Premium Authentic Caribbean Rums are aged in oak barrels ...

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Broadcasters asked to comply

PRESS RELEASE – A report released in March of 2015 by the Jamaica Association of Composers Authors, Composers and Publishers (JACAP) indicate that several media houses are now before the Supreme Court, facing charges of breaches of the copyright laws. The lawsuits were brought against them by JACAP, which represents over two million creators of music worldwide, including over 3400 Jamaicans. ...

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LIAT: Possible pilot strike could shut down airline

PRESS RELEASE – LIAT has taken note of LIALPA’s paid Media Statement of 18th March 2015 which listed several areas of contention. While LIAT does not believe that conducting industrial relations via the media is in anyone’s interest, the company feels constrained to respond to LIALPA’s statement. LIAT considers the statement to represent the views of the pilots and that ...

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British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce continues meetings with gov’t leaders

PRESS RELEASE – The leadership of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Saint Lucia have continued their programme of meetings to mark the establishment of the new Chamber with a series of courtesy calls on Government and business principles in Saint Lucia, culminating in an hour long discussion with Prime Minister, The Honourable Dr Kenny Anthony, at the Official ...

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Digicel helps bridge cultural gap among St. Lucian generations

PRESS RELEASE – In an effort to promote, preserve and celebrate St. Lucia’s cultural heritage, Digicel is supporting a major local theatre company as it endeavors to bridge the cultural gap on the island. Kiddi Crew Theatre Company will be hosting a series of innovative cultural events; all based on the cultural landscape of St. Lucia. The first event appropriately dubbed ...

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SLCSI offers training to SME firms

PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Coalition of Service Industries (SLCSI) is about to embark on the provision of specialized training for local service providers to prepare and equip them to take advantage of trading opportunities in markets outside Saint Lucia. The Service Exports Training Program offered by SLCSI is slated to commence next month (April 2015), and interested SME ...

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Super J, GL remove recalled Kraft product from shelves

PRESS RELEASE – The Kraft Foods Group has issued a voluntary recall of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, Original Flavor due to the possibility that some boxes may contain small pieces of metal. The recalled product is limited to the 206g (7.25-oz.) size of the Original flavor boxed dinner with the “Best When Used By” dates of September 18, 2015 ...

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Bay Gardens Resorts wins second ‘Business of the Year Award’

PRESS RELEASE – Bay Gardens Resorts edged out stiff competition from numerous St. Lucian businesses to capture the coveted ‘Business of the Year’ award, for the second consecutive year. The prestigious award was presented to the locally owned hotel group at the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s 2015 Sixth Annual St. Lucia Business Awards. It is awarded ...

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West Technology Group Inc wins Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation

PRESS RELEASE – West Technology Group Inc. is the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation. In 2014, West Technology Inc. collaborated with the Voucher Company Limited to design and implement an electronic fuel card as a payment method for the purchase of fuel at service stations. Currently the card is accepted at 20 service stations across the island. ...

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Government to enact consumer protection bill

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte has revealed that government is currently reviewing the National Consumer Rights Bill and plans to have it ratified soon. Hippolyte made this announcement during her address on World Consumer Rights Day on Sunday, March 15. The minister said she is aware of the issues consumers face, and that every effort is being made to ensure policies ...

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SLHTA explores new business opportunities with Martinique

SLHTA – The Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) in collaboration with the Martinique Chamber of Commerce is proud to have hosted a Martinique Business Delegation’s visit to Saint Lucia, comprising 17 companies, March 3-6, 2015. The objective of the mission was to encourage public and private sector relations between both islands, and most specifically, to facilitate trade development ...

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Winner announced for ‘Count Your Thursday’s’ raffle promotion

PRESS RELEASE – Congratulations to the first of last night’s ‘Count Your Thursday’s’ raffle promotion winner Mr. Timothy Clement. Mr. Clement won on the raffle numbers 3-7-1-2 and said that although he’s happy he’s won $4000 he still looks forward to winning the Super 6 jackpot. The jackpot now stands at $290,000 for this evening’s draw. Mr. Clement is an ...

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PM Anthony meets private sector representatives

PRESS RELEASE – In preparation for the 2015/2016 Budget, Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony is meeting private sector representatives and other interest groups to review Saint Lucia’s economic performance in the past year and to exchange views on possible budgetary initiatives in the next budgetary cycle. On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Prime Minister met executive members of the ...

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