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Finance/Business

SMJ Beverages to participate in secret poll

Over 80 workers employed with SMJ Beverages (St. Lucia) Limited will participate in a secret ballot poll on Thursday, November 15, 2012. This is as a result of a recognition claim submitted to the Department of Labour by the National Workers Union (NWU) on behalf of the said workers. The poll, which will be undertaken by officials from the Department ...

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St. Lucia Chamber re-elects Gerard Bergasse as president

Gerard Bergasse of Tropical Shipping has been re-elected president of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Bergasse was re-elected during the Chamber’s 128rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) held last night, Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at the Royal St. Lucian Conference room. Lanfraze Cherubin of Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd was elected for the first time and will ...

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Dispute between CARIMAN and NWU settled

The industrial impasse between the management of Caribbean Manufacturers Limited (CARIMAN) Ltd and the National Workers Union (NWU) has been settled. Some four weeks ago the NWU gave the company a seven-day ultimatum to resolve a wage matter or face protest action by the workers. The company failed to heed the ultimatum notice and as a result the workers withheld ...

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Concern expressed over resort expansion in St Lucia

CASTRIES, St Lucia — The political leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), Therold Prudent, has expressed grave concern over the apparent intentions of Sandals Grande Hotel to expand its accommodation by utilizing portions of the sea to build luxury bungalows in an effort to maximize greater profits for the company. According to Prudent, while it is understood that the ...

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St Lucia offshore firm earning millions

ALTHOUGH the State this month moved to transfer CL Financial shares in Republic Bank into a new trust fund, former CLF executive chairman Lawrence Duprey will still retain ties to a cluster of 13,191,640 shares in Republic Bank Limited through a secret offshore company called First Company Limited, a CLF group company. While the State recently announced it has started ...

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Galway hurler gets €100m St Lucia deal

A FIVE-STAR Caribbean resort development backed by Irish investors has found over €100m to refinance after its Icelandic backer’s collapse. Roebuck Properties, led by Galway hurling legend Brendan Lynskey, businessmen Neal Sweeney and Brian Kennedy, was backed by KSF, the British arm of the notorious Kaupthing bank before it went bust. Kaupthing’s administrators are now pursuing Roebuck for €10.5m related ...

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BIG Money winners get an early Christmas!

Customers from Bishop’s Gap, Micoud, central Castries, Babonneau, Carellie and New Development, Soufriere were among the latest winners in the LIME $500,000 BIG Money Everyday Giveaway. With the Christmas season upon us, it looks like Saint Lucia’s and the Caribbean’s leading telecommunications providers is already heavily into the giving spirit! Bradley and Albert Reynolds, both from Babonneau, are distantly related. ...

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Denver Byron wins $50,000 cash in Digicel’s Crack the Code Promotion!

Digicel the Bigger Better Network launched an exciting ‘Crack the Code’ Summer Promotion, which saw hundreds of customers win thousands of dollars in cash and credit for the past 23 weeks! One lucky Digicel customer in the person of Denver Byron walked away with the grand prize of $50,000 cash, giving a fitting end to an extraordinary promotion. This summer ...

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Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd is 2012 Best Corporate Citizen among ECCU commercial banks

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has presented the 2012 Best Corporate Citizen Award Among ECCU Commercial Banks to the Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd for its outstanding contribution to the overall development and well-being of the people of Saint Lucia. The Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd also received Good Corporate Citizen Awards for Educational Development, Community Outreach and Social ...

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LIME brings ESPN Press Pass to Saint Lucia!

ESPN Caribbean is one of the region’s favourite sports channels with coverage of West Indies cricket, NBA basketball and all of the world’s top football leagues. Now, thanks to the island’s leading cable television provider, ESPN Caribbean is coming to Saint Lucia. LIME TV is working with ESPN to bring the popular programme, ESPNFC Press Pass on island for one ...

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Digicel delivered big smiles to all customers

Last Friday, the Derek Walcott Square came alive as Digicel brought fun and excitement to customers with the launch of its latest promotion, ‘S.M.I.L.E’. Continuing to provide the very best service to all prepaid customers, Digicel unveiled a unique promotion which allows prepaid customers to top up, save and receive more value on the Bigger, Better Network! Last Friday evening ...

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Fuel prices increase

In keeping with the Modified Market Pass Through Mechanism introduced in May 2012, the public is hereby notified of the following increases in the prices of fuel products for the period Monday, November 5, 2012 to Monday, January 27, 2013. Gasoline from $3.25 per litre to $3.41 per litre ($14.77 per gallon to $15.49 per gallon); Diesel from $3.25 per ...

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Air tax increase ‘will harm tourism’

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A recent US $30 (around EC $81) tax hike on return flights to or from Antigua & Barbuda will harm visitor arrivals to the island. That’s the warning from President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Richard Doming, who said it’s only a matter of time before regional governments start to feel the backlash ...

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St. Lucia still mulling over LIAT investment

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony remains doubtful whether St. Lucia can at this time participate in the redevelopment of the regional airline LIAT, which is seeking to purchase new aircraft and expand its route network. The St. Lucia government is being asked to play a greater fiscal role in the struggling carrier which has been beset by financial difficulties and ...

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iPhone 4S now half off at LIME!

Castries, Saint Lucia – 2 November 2012:  LIME, the exclusive, official retailer and partner for iPhone in the Caribbean, is making it easier for customers to get one of the world’s most sought-after handsets. A special joint offer from LIME and Apple allows Saint Lucian users to get an iPhone 4S at half off the normal retail price. That’s as ...

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Digicel gives customers more reasons to SMILE!

The latest Digicel promotion will give every prepaid customer something to really smile about once they top up as specified in the promotion. Appropriately named the ‘SMILE’ promotion, each letter of the word gives a clue to what service is highlighted and what is available for the customer by way of valuable bonus. This promotion takes the best of the ...

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Coconut Bay workers to be unionised

Hotel workers employed with Coconut Bay Hotel Resort & Spa have resoundingly said yes to trade union representation. The 200-odd workers employed with the hotel this week participated in a secret ballot poll.  Over 86 percent voted in favour of having their interests protected by the National Workers Union (NWU). The exercise, which was undertaken by officials from the Department ...

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STATEMENT: Chamber of Commerce mourns passing of former president Laurie Barnard

We at the Chamber are joined with the many other organizations, associations, committees and sectors locally, regionally and internationally that he so passionately and efficiently represented. Laurie Barnard, with his diverse interests from agriculture to manufacturing to hospitality, was literally and figuratively an exceptional and outstanding son of the Saint Lucia soil. As a member of the Chamber, he was ...

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5th Annual Taiwan-Saint Lucia Trade Exhibition kicks off Nov. 23

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 – The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) will be hosting its 5th Annual Taiwan-Saint Lucia Trade Exhibition, designed to provide business organizations with the   opportunity to explore avenues for trade and sources of raw material. This trade exhibition is engendered at ...

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Major St. Lucian hotel undergoes name change

Another St. Lucia-based hotel has undertaken a name change after multi-million dollar upgrades. Morgan Bay Beach Resort has been renamed the St James’s Club, Morgan Bay, St. Lucia following an extensive upgrade, according to travelmole.com. The travel site said the name-change comes about after the implementation of 20 refurbishment projects, including the remodelling of swimming pools and upgrading of bar ...

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LUCELEC launches electricity theft reduction initiative

The Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) has launched a major campaign aimed at reducing electricity theft. Electricity theft costs paying customers and LUCELEC a significant amount of money, puts lives and property at risk and affects power quality. LUCELEC Chief Engineer Goodwin d’Auvergne explains, “Beyond the fact that legitimate customers are, in fact, subsidising persons stealing electricity, electricity theft ...

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LUCELEC says no to CSA’s 30% demands

St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) is refuting suggestions that the company has been intransient in the negotiations with the Civil Service Association (CSA), the bargaining agent for its Grade 1 employees. Negotiations between the two parties for a three-year agreement for the period 2011 – 2013 have ceased and the outstanding matter of wage increases has been referred to ...

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‘Big pay out’ for ICON employees

Half a million dollars will be paid out to some 37 employees of ICON Distributors Limited, formerly SINGER, after the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday with the National Workers Union (NWU). The agreement stems from the purchase of ICON by another company, the union organisation said. “In keeping with the industrial agreement between the parties, the ...

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Atlantic Rally for Cruisers to promote yachting tourism

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 – As Saint Lucia prepares for the 27th annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers event, focus has been placed on promoting yachting tourism. The main aim of this rally is to bring to the yachters the attention of Saint Lucia’s growing tourism industry, including hotel development, dining, beautiful beaches, and the many other attractions. The Atlantic Rally ...

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Prime minister to address Barbados Chamber of Commerce

Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony left the island on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 to attend the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Luncheon to be held at Hilton Barbados on Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Dr. Anthony, who is the guest speaker at the event, will address the gathering on the topic “Regional Integration-Reality or Myth”. In his remarks, ...

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UPDATED: Remove VAT on prescription pharmaceuticals – SLMDA

The St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) has added its voice to calls for the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on prescription pharmaceuticals in light of what the association describes as “the steadily increasing” cost of accessing and delivering health care. The association said removing VAT on prescription pharmaceuticals will decrease the cost of medication and will afford ...

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RED TAPES: Doing business in St. Lucia still difficult, PM says pace of reform slow

Despite St. Lucia being ranked number one among CARICOM countries for ease of doing business, business people here are still facing numerous hurdles and red tapes – a scenario Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony admits and is determined to eliminate as he announced ongoing plans to create a commercial court and reduce the registration time of companies. Dr. Anthony, ...

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NWU to meet with ICON management to discuss company’s future

The management of ICON Distributors Limited, formerly referred to as SINGER, and officials from the National Workers Union (NWU) will on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 discuss the future of the company at a meeting at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Rodney Bay, commencing from 9:30 a.m. ICON Distributors Ltd will provide the NWU with detailed and concrete information pertaining to a ...

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Coconut Bay Beach Resort workers to participate in poll

Hotel workers employed with Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa will on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 participate in a secret ballot poll. This secret ballot poll will be undertaken by officials from the Department of Labour and will commence from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The exercise, which will provide about 200 workers an opportunity to cast their ballots, is ...

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AGAIN: St. Lucia tops CARICOM for ease of doing business

CARIBBEANJOURNAL.COM: For the second year in a row, St Lucia is the top-ranked CARICOM country for ease of doing business, according to the Doing Business 2013 Report from the World Bank. St Lucia was ranked 53rd worldwide on the list, although that represented a drop from its ranking of 52nd in the 2012 report. Puerto Rico, a US territory, was ...

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Government clarifies tax deductions from pensions, blasts Opposition for telling lies

In a statement issued on Thursday, October 25, 2012, the United Workers Party stated the following: “Due to demands from the Inland Revenue Department the local banking and financial sector are now forced to apply deductions on payments to pensioners effective November 01, 2012″. This statement is a blatant lie, not simply an untruth. By a letter dated August 20 ...

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LIME BIG Money gives away $100,000!

There’s no doubt that in addition to the company’s normal great value for money, LIME’s BIG Money $500,000 Everyday Giveaway promotion has been a major blessing for many Saint Lucians, helping to bring some measure of economic relief to landline, Internet, LIME TV and esepcially mobile customers. So far, the island’s leading telecommunications service provider has dished out more than ...

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SLTB mourns former chairman Laurie Barnard

Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus along with the Board of Directors and staff of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) are mourning the unfortunate passing of former chairman of the agency, Laurie Barnard. Tourism Director Louis Lewis said the former chairman provided sterling leadership for the SLTB during his tenure, which spanned February 2007 to December 2011, and helped ...

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Government “saddened” by passing of veteran businessman Laurie Barnard

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has said he is “deeply saddened” by the passing of Laurie Barnard who has made a “tremendous contribution to the development of the country, both in the private and state sectors”. Barnard was the managing director of St. Lucia Distillers, a company Prime Minister Anthony said he nurtured from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition. Barnard ...

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Baron Foods shines with Caribbean Business Awards

The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture has congratulated Baron Foods Ltd. for copping several major awards at the recently announced 2012 Caribbean Business Awards. Baron Foods has won the Small to Medium Business of the Year, Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence award, while the company’s Managing Director, Ronald Ramjattan, has captured the Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year award. ...

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VAT will not affect LIME mobile rates – company officials

Though there will be obvious increases for land-line, internet and LIME TV customers, mobile customers will see “no real changes with VAT”. That’s according to Herman Edward, head of Finance at LIME, who attempted to make it clear to the public in a statement issued recently. Hermain explained: “Previously, mobile services were charged 15 percent telecommunications tax, so when you ...

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No VAT on school books, education services and insurance premiums – gov’t

Government has dismissed reports that school books and education services, as well as insurance premiums and premiums provided by minibus drivers have been stung by the recently enacted Valued Added Tax (VAT). “As is clearly defined in the Value Added Tax Act (2012), education services means tuition or instruction for students provided by an institution duly recognized by the Ministry ...

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ICON security guards choose NWU representation

Over 50 employees of ICON Security Services will now receive trade union representation. This development is as a result of a recently held secret ballot among the security guards that was supervised by officials from the Department of Labour. The poll revealed that over 59 percent of the employees voted in favour of having their interest represented by the National ...

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JUST IN: Taxation of pension incomes effective Nov. 1

St. Lucia News Online and other members of the media have just received an email from the National Workers Union (NWU) which includes a scanned copy of a letter from CIBC FirstCaribbean International  Bank advising retirees of income tax deductions from their pension payments effective November 1. St. Lucia News Online understands that only pensioners who have reached a certain ...

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A St. Lucian is LIME St. Lucia’s new general manager

A St. Lucian is the new general manager of LIME St. Lucia. He is former vice president of LIME St. Lucia Operations, Chris Williams. His appointment took effect from Oct. 1, 2012, according to a press release from the telecommunications provider. LIME said Williams has over 30 years of experience in telecommunications technologies, business strategies, network expansion and service delivery. ...

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CSA running out of patience with government

The St. Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has accused government of delay tactics in its negotiations of collective bargaining agreements for 2012-2015. CSA President Mary Isaac said discussions on monetary benefits have been dragging for months with no conclusion in sight at a time when salaries would traditionally be discussed at the round table. “We have not been informed of ...

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Labour Department to conduct poll with Glace Supermarket employees

Workers employed with Glace Supermarket operating units at Marisule, Bella Rosa and Rodney Bay will participate in a secret ballot poll on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012. Officials from the Department of Labour will conduct the poll, which was scheduled as a result of a recognition claim submitted by the National Workers Union on behalf of workers employed with the company. ...

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UPDATE: Gov’t wants $154M to borrow

Government is seeking approval to borrow EC$154 million to refinance loans and finance capital projects. This is one of two major financial motions to be debated when the House of Assembly meets tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. According to a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister, the House will be “invited to approve a request ...

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Business owners invited to Mind Your Business

In its continued drive to assist the small business sector improve their operations and make it easier for them to do business the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture continues its “Mind Your Business Development Series.” This series specifically targets the small and medium sized enterprise owner or manager and seeks to provide the practical skills and know ...

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Digicel joins the fight against breast cancer

The month of October is known around the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Digicel, the Bigger Better Network collaborated with Faces of Cancer to encourage women to get screened for early detection of the dangerous breast cancer disease. There is a pink tidal wave raising awareness and educating St Lucian women on Breast Cancer as it could save ...

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Digicel surprises postpaid winner at work

Digicel, the Bigger Better Network is continuing to reward its loyal postpaid customers with partner Diamonds International. Miss Amanda Maglorie the second “Diamonds and Digicel Delights” winner was surprised by the Digicel team with her prizes of Wenger and Parazul brand items. Digicel for the month of September rewarded its postpaid customers for paying their bills in full and on ...

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COMMENTARY: Deficit dry cry, a Robin-Hood classic!

Knock, knock! The musical chairs in central government and the deficit are too high, agreed! And are there major efforts to reduce the deficit using the right formulation of sensible and result oriented solutions? Not at all! Okay then, what type of solution is available? Well, let’s say in simple terms, it’s a classic case of Robin-Hood, with a replica ...

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SLBS underakes standardization pilot programme

The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) is on the verge of undertaking a pilot study of the economic benefits to be gained by Saint Lucia’s business community as a result of standardization. The case study will initially commence with Baron Foods Limited in Vieux Fort, which the Bureau commended as one of Saint Lucia’s foremost companies in terms of ...

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Take advantage of stimulus programme – Government

Government is encouraging citizens to take advantage of the ongoing Construction Stimulus Programme which has resulted in noticeable price reductions on select building materials island-wide. The 18-month programme was launched on August 21, 2012. Under this programme, government has removed a range of taxes levied on products such as paints, lumber, sand, cement and fencing materials among others. No Value ...

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LIAT makes interim changes to facilitate systems upgrade

Regional airline LIAT is set to upgrade its Computerised Reservations System (CRS) which handles all reservations and its Departure Control System (DCS) which is used for check-in. The upgrade is planned to take place from October 23 to 24. The airline said over the past several months it has been putting the necessary plans in place, and it’s all systems ...

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Digicel begins the weekend with free rides, free credit and free talk!

Castries, St. Lucia: Digicel will this Friday provide its customers with surprise value with its ‘FREE Ride Fridays’. Digicel branded buses will operate FREE of charge to deliver complimentary service to their particular bus routes island-wide! Tomorrow, St Lucia will be treated to FREE commuting on Digicel branded buses island-wide. In keeping with its promise to deliver the best value, ...

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Digicel’s Caring Connections helps the St. Lucia Blind Welfare Association job placement project

CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA: Digicel continues to assist the special needs community by presenting the fourth $10,000 Caring Connections cash grant to the St Lucia Blind Welfare Association (SLBWA). Bringing to life their job placement project, the SLBWA will allow for training and on the job working experience to develop the confidence and skills of persons who are blind or visually ...

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CARIMAN workers do not want wage increase spread over 3 years

The management of Caribbean Manufacturers Limited (CARIMAN Ltd.) and the National Workers Union (NWU) are continuing discussions aimed at finding a solution to their industrial impasse. The company has since agreed to the implementation of the industrial package and instead of the 15 percent general wage increase, the management has offered ten percent 10 percent spread over three years. Considering ...

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Blackberry losing its flavour

The New York Times has reported that the Blackberry smartphone, which was once praised as the ultimate communication device, is quickly losing it’s stance in the telecommunications market. According to the article on www.nytimes.com, the BlackBerry was once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, but those who still hold one today say the device has become a magnet ...

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Most local businesses not keeping pace with international standards – Hippolyte

On Monday, Oct. 15, while St. Lucia joined the world in observing World Standards Day, it was reported that only a “handful” of local companies are certified to or have implemented standards in their operations. This scenario has been described as “far from desirous” if St. Lucian businesses are to succeed in a competitive export market, Minister for Commerce, Business ...

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VAT Unit ensuring compliance with series of workshops; customers reporting discrepancies

Monday, October 15, 2012 – Efforts are afoot to maximum efficiency and compliance under the Value Added Tax (VAT) system. Commencing Thursday, October 18th  until Tuesday, October 30th, 2012, the Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs will host a series of workshops to ensure that all retailers and wholesalers of price controlled goods fully understand the necessary ...

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Wyclef’s Haiti charity is now defunct after mishandling $16M in donations

Wyclef Jean’s Yéle Haiti charity, once what the singer said was the country’s “greatest asset and ally” is now defunct and in debt. The charity’s collapse comes after years of accusations of mishandled funds, which amounted to a reported $16 million following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. “Yéle was small before the earthquake, with only $37,000 in assets,” reports The ...

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St. Lucia manufacturers blast the VAT

President of the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association Paula Calderon has warned policymakers behind the Value Added Tax (VAT) implementation that its members may soon be out of business because of the implications of certain policies. In a statement, Calderon said her association was outraged by the implementation of VAT policies which she claims are crushing the already struggling manufacturing sector. ...

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Jalousie Plantation renamed Sugar Beach

The Jalousie Plantation, on the scenic Eastern Caribbean island of St Lucia, has completed a three year, multi-million dollar transformation and is marking the occasion by renaming the property Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort on November 30. The Viceroy Hotel Group, which has managed the Jalousie Plantation since 2008, played a key role in the multi-million dollar upgrading of the ...

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