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An old favorite in the Bahamian marketplace has been given a modern spin.
Ezminutes.com, a business recently launched by Nekia Brice, is tapping into the lesser-known e-commerce sector. And so far, the approach appears to be working. To date, more than 10,000 phone cards have been sold online as a result of Ezminutes.com.
Brice told Guardian Business that Ezminutes.com allows anyone from anywhere in the world to instantly purchase a phone card, using any internet-enabled device.
She said the company has already begun to lead the way in The Bahamas' e-commerce industry.
"We are at the dawn of the internet age here, in order for businesses to be able to compete in the future they would need to incorporate internet technology or be left with no business at all," according to Brice.
"With The Bahamas being an offshore jurisdiction for financial services, it is prime for an e-commerce boom in the near future. We want businesses to know that yes it is possible to obtain a Bahamian merchant account for accepting credit cards online. Once setup, the funds are cleared in a local bank account.
"Ezminutes.com is a Bahamian online small business which operates solely through e-commerce. We have proven it is possible and we hope to inspire others."
She pointed out that Ezminutes.com is optimized for easy navigation and few clicks from any mobile device, tablet or computer. Customers receive the pins on the website instantly once a purchase is complete. Purchases can be made using any visa or master, debit or credit card.
Brice revealed to Guardian Business due to the company's local success, plans are underway to expand to other countries. She hopes to launch a similar service in the UK by the end of 2012.
Once completed, customers will also be able to purchase UK top up vouchers for all major mobile providers, including T-Mobile, Vodafone, 02, Orange and Three.
Brice said this service will primarily target customers in the UK and anyone outside of the UK who wishes to keep their UK prepaid mobile number active.
Ezminutes.com is a product of Websoft E-Business Solutions, which provides consulting and development of online businesses in The Bahamas and throughout the world.
Brice's success comes as manager of e-commerce at MWF Group Bahamas, Damien Forsythe, recently told Guardian Business that the country is still missing out on a golden opportunity to cash in on the e-commerce sector.
Forsythe encouraged banks to provide more merchant services, as it would not only help local businesses grow but also help the overall economy by embracing this sector.
"I don't know if they are aware of the potential of those types of services," he said.
"They have really held back local businesses that want to sell online domestically and internationally. I think the banks are not thinking about it and have not been forced to think about it," he shared.
Bank of The Bahamas announced in February that it plans to launch a formal e-commerce program in the coming months.
Funeral Service for ELDER SHIRLEY JUDY "PET" BROWN aged 53 years of Faith Avenue who died on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 will be held on Sunday, June 3rd at 2:00pm at Kemp Road Ministries, Kemp Road. Officiating will be Rev. Dr. Ivan Ford Butler, Jr. assisted by Other Ministers Of The Gospel. Interment will be made in Lakeview Memorial Gardens and Mausoleums, John F. Kennedy Drive and Gladstone Road.
Left to cherish her memories: Her beloved Sons: Tiko and Stevon and Adopted daughter: Italia "JJ"; Her Sisters: Modena McPhee, Maxine Newton, Ruth Williams, Patricia Brown, Zella Symonette and Hollyann Brown; Her Brothers: James Darville of Houston, Texas, Ralph "Dick", Ulis Jr., Gregory, Dexter, Eglerton, Michael and David Brown; Brothers-in-law: Bishop Robert A. McPhee, Rev. Alfred Williams and Kenneth Symonette Sr.; Sisters-in-law: Marva Brown, Carolyn Darville of Houston, Texas and Pandora Darville of The Bluff, Eleuthera; Nieces and Nephews: Michelle and E. W. Hayes of Charlotte, North Carolina, Yvette and Shawn Knowles, Moleka McPhee, Robyn and Bishop Denczil Rolle, Lynette and Edward Benoit Sr., Deuel and Daythan Newton, Yasmin and Kenneth Newbold, Vernita, Jocond and Alfred Williams Jr., Veronique Knowles, Petra, Rasheed and Kenicka Brown, P.C. 2832 Kenneth Symonette, Jr. and Kenise Symonette, Kevon, Khasna, Kyle, Dijonaise, Diandrea, D'andrè and Marissa Brown, Chardell Gibson and Dexter Riley Jr., Numerous Grand Nieces and Nephews; (3) Uncles: Milton Saunders, George Brown and Ernest Munroe of Moss Town, Exuma; (3) Aunts: Mary Saunders, Corene Saunders of Orlando, Florida and Cora McKenzie of Barraterre, Exuma; Numerous Cousins including: Sheila and Ezra Curry, Maria, Marilyn, Vernita and Elrita Munroe, Esther James, Paulette Farrington, Germaine White, Kayla Rolle, Henry and James Saunders; Deanne, Autie and Vandlyn McKenzie, Alice Whymms, Elizabeth Kelly, Kori, Alexander, Albert, Gary, Alexandria, Dino, Otis and Brayden Darville, Ginger and Elvira Hamilton of Deerfield, Florida. Sherman and Samuel Brown and Family, Francis Brown and Family of Black Point, Exuma, Beverley Robinson and Family, Ann Sweeting and Family and Annismae Smith; Adopted Mother: Louise Prosper; Godmother: Nellie Rolle; Godchildren: Emmanuel Butler, Giovanni Cargill, Ivana Deveaux, Jasmin Harper, Crystal Curtis, Gabriella Butler and Dwaniqua Collie; Other Relatives and Friends Including: The Rev. Dr. C.W. Saunders and Family, Rev. Dr. Ivan Ford and Dr. Joann Butler, Rev. Dr. Daisy and Barry Winder, Jennifer Sutherland, Deborah Bain, Francita and Ivan Deveaux, Deacon Gregory and Sherell Mortimer, Mother Ruth Flowers and Family, Dr. David & Rose Butler and Family, Magdeline Murphy and Family, Clarabell Charles and Family, Sherilyn Brown, Marion Taylor, Ennetta and John Sanford, Denise Saunders, Mahalia Bootle, Stephen Roberts and Family, Pamela Rolle and Family, Lydia Mckenzie and Family, Sandra Mortimer and Family, Vernie Rolle and Family, Everette Hart and Family, Ethlyn Rolle & Family, Hanna Brice and Family, Hazel Knowles and Family, Suzie Black & Family, Vanderlyn Moss, Gregory Coakley, Dorethea Rolle, Sharon Shea, Christine & Isamae Curtis and Family, Anastacia Ferguson, Shawn & Neka Mortimer, Shirley Cooper and Family, Ruth Delancy and Family, Amos and Cynthia Ferguson and Family, Sedika Elliott and Family, Kenneth and Stephanie Clarke and Family, Stella Major and Family, Nejara Farrington, Katrina Williams and Sylvia Daniels of Miami, Florida and SAC's Class of 1975. Neighbours: Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Claridge and Family, George Johnson and Family, Sandra Bain and Family, Jen Sweeting and Family, Blossie Smith and Family, Regina Albury and Family, Absolom Roach and Family, The Descendants of Henry and Rebecca Saunders, The Descendants of Mitchel and Albertha Brown of Black Point, Exuma, The staff and patrons of STS Gift Center especially Wilfred Sergent, The Ministry of Finance and Revenue Section Staff, especially The Lunch Bunch, The Pastoral, Leadership Team and members of Kemp Road Ministries including the Senior Saints and others too numerous to mention.
Viewing will be held at Clarke's Funeral Home #10 Tonique Williams-Darling Highway on Saturday, June 2nd from 10:00am to 4:00pm and on Sunday, June 3rd from 12:00 Noon at the church until service time.
Ruby Funeral Service
Mrs. Elma Margurite Johnson-Thompson age 79 years of #14 Dignity Gardens and formerly of Stanyard Creek Andros and Savannah Sound Eleuthera will be held on Saturday, June 02, 2012 at 11:30am at St. Agnes Anglican Church, Blue Hill Road North. The Venerable Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown, assisted by Fr. Neil Nairn will officiate and burial will be in Woodlawn Gardens Cemetery, Soldier Road.
The Radiance of this "Ruby of A Gem" will always glow in the hearts of her:
One Son: Sidney Bernard Jr.;
One Step Son: Scott Thompson;
Four Daughters: Judith Ellen, Joy Charlene Alison and Kerry Ferrell Thompson and Cheryl Donna-lee Arnett;
Eleven Grandsons: Elvis Jr. and Kelvin Cooper, Chal Burchard, Trey Bienaine, Oslee McCardy, Semeko and Shavard Arnett, Kenton and Kendron Fines, Leonard Jr. and Mateo Papageorge;
Twenty Three Granddaughters: Elvia and Tishonia Cooper, Shonique Moss, Antonia Young, Regena, Tamara, Tammy, Shianna, Diamond and Cherish Thompson, Renee Graves, Lisa Bullard, Keturah Farrington, Collene Clarke, Sanay Collie, Brittany, Bianca, Shavard, Jewel and Cheree Arnett, Anastacia, Dianna and Khloe Papageorge;
Eighteen Great Grandchildren: Elisea and Elianna Cooper, Duran Moss Jr., Zoria and D'Azurnae Scott, Carleeyah and Cailyn Young, Jazmen Green, Justin, Trinity, Lindsey and Jevaun Graves, Infiniti Arnett, Kaidyn and Kelson Auguste, Kayla, Zacary and Eton Bullard;
One Sister: Vernell Storr;
Twenty Nephews: Stafford Clarke, Kennedy and Mark Storr, Charles, Elwin, Shane, Lawrence and Terrence Carey, Vaughn, James and Jerry Gibson, Vernon, Elvin Jr., Glen, Larry, Vincent, Thaddeus, Hiram, Tyrone and Neville Thompson;
Ten Nieces: Jacqueline Bourque, Gwendolyn Brice-Sealy, Carolyn Storr, Patronia Crawford, Lenny Thompson, Deidre LaRoda, Vanessa Gibson, Sandra Carey, Gilda Dean and Calliope Longley;
One Uncle: Clarance Woodside;
Three Sons-in-law: Superintendent of Police Bruce Arnett, Leonard Papageorge and Trevor Ximinies;
Two Daughters-in-law: Delphine and Katherine Thompson;
One Sister-in-law: Closandra M. Gibson;
Two Godchildren: Marsha Gibson-Nottage and Melissa Kelly;
Other loving family and friends including: Harcourt Gibson, Ellen, Karen and Maxine Thompson, Dr. Anthony and Ellamae Davis, Stacy, Anthony and Wesley Bastian, Francoise Bourque, Carlotta Klass, Leonard and Shirley Papageorge, Leonard and Katherine Bullard, Annis Antrobus, Lindsey Graves, Trevor Ximines, Elvis Sr. and Tommika Cooper, Cailyn Young, Jade Hilton, Paul Sealy, Duran Moss Sr., Joe Whyms, Omar Stubbs, Inez Knowles, Stella Dorsette, Clarice Jones, Norma and Rozelda Woodside, Travis Deveaux, Eulease Johnson, Emerald Brown and their families;
Special Thanks To: Doctors and Nurses of Princess Margaret Hospital, Community of Savannah Sound, Staff of Parliamentary Registration Department, Department of Public Service, Atlantis Hotel, Sky Bahamas and Uniquely Bahamian.
Visitation will be in the "Sapphire Suite" Emerald Ridge Mortuary & Monument Company Ltd. #20 Claridge Road on Friday, June 01, 2012 from 10am to 1pm and at St. Agnes Anglican Church, Blue Hill Road North on Saturday, June 02, 2012 from 10:30am.
Last rites for Ethel Bessiemae Curtis, 61, of Pinewood Gardens and formerly of Harts, Exuma will be held on Saturday at 11:00 A.M. at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Pigeon Plum Street, Pinewood Gardens. Officiating will be Pastor Daniel Nottage assisted by Pastor Bruce Davis and Overseer Randolph Deleveaux. Interment in Woodlawn Gardens.
She is survived by her Husband: Deacon Simeon Curtis; four daughters: Karen Rolle, Shantell Rolle, Idena and Nakeisha Curtis; three sons: Simeon Jr., Marvin and Wendon Curtis; fifteen grandchildren: William Rolle Jr., Martin Jr., Donavon, Shaquille and Jonathon Rolle, Jerome and Darren Wallace, Marvin Jr. and Alexio Curtis, Dario and Darren Turnquest, Felicia Wallace, Alexis Rolle, Kishna and Alexia Curtis; one sister: Margaret Goddard; three brothers: Charlie and Hillard Minns and Neville Curry; adopted brother: Steven Romer; two sons-in-law: William Rolle Sr. and Martin Rolle Sr.; six aunts: Annie Lloyd, Emma Rodriquez, Marlene Smith, Margaret Patton, Morlene Josey and Leotha Mcphee; one uncle: Michael Minns; numerous nieces and nephews including Nickell, Shavonne, Ricardo, Darren, Sean, Keyon, Kavanna, Hilleon and Hillarie Minns, Recarno Nixon, and Kenneva Goddard, Ismae Gibson, Christine, Ethel, Raffletta, Idamae, Cyprianna, Theresa and Cathyann Curtis, Melvina, Geneva and Lenora Williams, Kendrick Curtis, Rodney Williams; three sisters-in-law: Ermma Minns, Doris Curtis, Madeline Williams; 3 Brothers-in-law: Claudius and Ikel Curtis and Rocka Williams; other relatives and friends including Hanna Brice and Family, Hilbert Flowers and Family, William Rolle and Family, Claudette Moncur and Family, Winifred Bain and Family, Cherry Thompson and Family, Ena Wright and Family, Missy Taylor and Family, Gwen Spence and Family, Ena Rolle and Family, Ivey Minns and Family, Rosalie Rolle and Family, Marian Sweeting and Family, Cedric Curry and Family, Nellie Curry and Family, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Family, Pastor Bruce Davis and Family, Ministry of Finance Department, Pastor Victor Johnson, The New Dimension Ministry Family, New Birth Kingdom Center Family, Bahamas Food Services Family.
The body will repose at Kurtiss Memorial Mortuary, Robinson Road and Fifth Street on Friday from 11:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. and at the church on Saturday from 10:00 A.M. until service time.
Funeral service for Eunice Lorraine Anderson, age 59 years, of Petrea Street, Eastwood Subdivision will be held on Saturday May 19th, 2012 at 10:30 a.m., at New Lively Hope Baptist Church, Jerome Avenue and Chesapeake Road. Officiating will be Rev. Dr. A. Shelton Higgs, Rev. Hilbert Flowers, Rev. James Pennerman, Minister Julian V. Anderson and Minister Paula Moncur. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Gardens, Solider Road.
Left to cherish her fondest memories are her daughter: Ashley Lorell Sweeting; one sister: Marjorie Anderson of Miami Florida; one brother: Claudius Anderson of Chicago Illinois; one sister-in-law: Patricia Anderson, nieces and nephews: Sandra, Terrence and Julian Anderson, Michelle and Freddie Robinson, Todd Anderson, Carla and Jason Hollis, Amber and Anishka Anderson, Patrice, Sherryann, Shantell, Charlene, Gwennie and Shenique Anderson, Silrita and Timothy Knowles, Claudette Anderson and Catherine Webb; grand nieces and nephews including: Khalin, Julian, Calvin and Julianne Anderson, Kasha, Alicia (Donnie) and Fred (JR) Robinson, Erica and Thomas Irvine, Rodney Williams, Percival (PJ) Curry, Deann Anderson and Christian Burrows; great grand nieces and nephews; other family members: Olive Vernett, Antoinette Curtis and family, Carolyn Sands, Myrtle Dean, Lucy Sands, Laverne Marche, the Andersons, Thompsons, Gibson, Sands and Delancy descendants of Deep Creek, Eleuthera, the Penn family, Ball's Alley family, Miriam Finley and Sheniqua Saunders, Leonie and Mavalo Duncanson, Vernell and Marsha Fawkes and family and The Pratt family; Special Friends and Neighbours: Tyrone Sweeting and children, Rose Thompson and family, Lillian Smith and family, Helen Rolle and family, Shirley Knowles and Wilfred Dorsett, Idamae Williams and family, Mary Clarke and Louise Ritchie, Vera Bain, Sonia Knowles and Veronica Jones, Mr. Harry and Audrey Knowles and children, The neighbours of Petrea Street and Angel Road, Eastwood Subdivision, Judy Knowles and Sharon (Sherry) Williams and family, Carolyn Seymour and Family, Jane Davis and family, Jackie Brice and family, Steve and Charlene Simmons, Steven and Magdalene Wilson and family, Lynette Minnis and Glynnis Rolle, Dulcie Armbrister and family, Clara (Mama) Dean, Valarie Dean and Dorothy Smith, Geraldine Higgs, Deborah Hall, Roscoe Sturrup, Persis Mackey, Dorothy Kemp, Randy and Christa Thurston and family; god children: Anndra Alday, Alvardo Deaveaux, Eugene (Ghandi) Clarke, Brunee Dorsett and Aldreco Rolle, Friends from Miami Florida: Margaret Brown, Janet Brown and family; Former colleagues of Batelco Poinciana and Camperdown Offices, Colleagues from the Telephone Department of Princess Margaret Hospital: Marina Laing -Supervisor, Grace Stubbs, Christine Toote, Eva Roker, Sandy Bethel, Deondra Butler, Keisha Pinder, Tabitha Josey, Nadia Saunders, other staff members of Princess Margaret Hospital, Nurses and Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital: Dr. Eugene Gray, Dr. Akeem Minnis, Dr. Magnus, Dr. Munroe, Dr. Colette Thompson, Dr. Farquharson, Dr. Ricky Davis, Nurses of the Eye ward, Sister Pinder and Sister Butler; Church Family: Rev. Dr. A. Shelton and Lady Ingrid Higgs, Rev Hilbert and Victoria Flowers, Rev. James and Margaret Pennerman along with Ministers and the officers and members of New Lively Hope Baptist Church.
Friends may pay their last respects at Butlers' Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Ernest and York Streets on Friday May 18th, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at the church on Saturday May 19th, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. until service time.
While a leading catastrophe modeling firm has revised its insurance losses estimate for Hurricane Irene, local experts believe the number is still grossly exaggerated.
AIR Worldwide reduced the losses for The Bahamas to between $200 and $400 million, down from its August 26th $300-to$700 million estimate.
But Brice Ferguson, president of Professional Insurance Consultants, said the revised figure was still "ridiculous".
In fact, Ferguson said the true figure to be closer to $30 million, and believes the manner in which firms collect the data is not only inaccurate, but could also be costing local premium payers.
"We continually talk to [the reinsurers], but the problem is they tend to sit in their glass towers, get the computer models and slavishly go by them instead of getting out here themselves, which in the old days they used to do," Ferguson told Guardian Business.
"[The computer models] are very inaccurate, and nothing can beat people on the ground for assessing the damage that was actually caused."
Better loss estimation by the major reinsurers in London, Zurich, Munich and France could result in lower premiums for Bahamian property owners, according to Ferguson. The modeling does not take into account many of the on-the-ground realities such as the protection reefs lend New Providence to mitigate potential damage on this island, he added.
"They lump us in with the US ... it makes it difficult to get the insurance that we want at the price we want," Ferguson said.
He pointed to the fact that Bahamians were paying comparable home insurance premiums to those paid in Jamaica, despite the fact that Jamaica's property owners are exposed to earthquake risk as well.
But according to President and CEO of Bahamas First, Patrick Ward, Bahamians may be spared unduly inflated premiums due to the close relationship local insurers have with their reinsurers. In a separate interview, he told Guardian Business that while he did not know where AIR was getting its numbers from, in terms of actual assumptions for insured properties, reinsurers were more likely to rely on feedback from the local market and real time "actuals" rather than the computer estimates.
"[AIR's estimates] would have had an impact, and a negative impact if it weren't for the fact that local companies are in direct communication with the reinsurers, which ultimately will be the determinant factor," Ward said.
He stated that the industry consensus was placing insured losses at between $30 and $40 million.
To arrive at more accurate insured loss estimates going forward, Ward said AIR must better analyze actual data and calibrate their forecasting models accordingly.
According to AIR, its revision was based on a refinement of information about how many properties were actually insured, based on feedback from local experts during its recent damage survey, and a reanalysis of what insurers of a "significant" portion of the market detailed their exposure to be.
AIR noted that its estimate represented all insured properties in The Bahamas - not just those insured by Bahamian companies.
From Ferguson's perspective, however, it's highly unlikely the handful of Bahamian properties insured offshore would bridge the $170 to $360 million gulf between the local and AIR's estimates. Resort properties such as Atlantis, Sandals and Breezes have offshore insurers, but based on what is known about their damages, "it's not going to make a huge difference", said Ferguson.
"Since [the] initial posting, AIR conducted a damage survey in the Bahamian islands of New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, and Green Turtle Cay," said Scott Stransky, scientist at AIR Worldwide.
"The levels of observed damage from both wind and flood were consistent with expectations and with AIR model results. Wind damage to well-built concrete structures was limited to the roof, as the model indicates, while the less prevalent wooden structures suffered more substantial damage. Well-engineered commercial properties typically suffered significant damage to signage."
FREDRICKA GARDINER, 62, of Gordon Avenue, Freeport, Grand Bahama died at the Rand Memorial Hospital, Freeport, Grand Bahama on Saturday, December 3, 2011.
She is survived by her husband: Gerald Gardiner; children: Randal, Wayne, Gerard and Elon; adopted daughters: Tonia Provenznano, Tiffany Brice and Tamanika Butler; grandchildren:
Gerard Jr. Elkino, Germaerico, Tyrece, Daeshanel and Jaden Gardiner, Elondra and Jaden Gardiner, Joshua, Randi and Reanna Gardiner, and Wayne Gardiner Jr.; sisters: Roslyn Rolle, Catherine Owen and Mavis McQueen (Marsha Harbour, Abaco) and Virginia Curry; brother: Arlington George McQueen Sr.; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.
Today, students who graduated from the inaugural class of the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) received their first pay cheques from Baha Mar...
After being crowned the 2010 champions of St. Pauls Baptist Church first ever Eddie "Marker" Rahming basketball classics and with the holiday season in full swing, the New Breed Sporting Club will travel to a family island tournament.
Coach Dino "Pott" Flowers along with Patrick Brice will lead the team to the first ever Holiday Classic Tournament in Cooper's Town, Abaco.
Coach Stanford Davis, President of New Breed Sports Club said that many teams have signed up for this event including two teams out of Freeport, Grand Bahama along with The Dynamic Dolphins, Tripple "J" Warriors, Treasure ...