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News Article
(Video) US president Barack Obama pledges to end war in Afghanistan

President Obama speaks to tro

ops during an unannounced trip to
Afghanistan where he signed a strategic partnership agreement with
President Hamid Karzai that marks the beginning of the end of the war

This video is an address to the nation on the future of the NATO mission in the region after a decade of war.

Obama tells the troops that he had just signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan.

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News Article
Allow the resurrected Christ to be the leader

He leadeth me beside the still waters. - Psalms 23:2.
Indeed it is that time of the year when we reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ! But to me, we treat it like the dawning of a new year when we are offering congratulations and salutations, and, within days, no one is offering peace, love and prosperity for the coming days, weeks and months. It is like a passing fancy.
So with our text today, I am grateful for the cross, the tomb and his ascension and the difference Jesus made in my life and yours. He is now positioned at the right hand of the Father, and, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, from his position in glory, he can transform our condition from darkness to noon daylight, from the valleys of poverty, lack, degradation and marginalization to such high moral and spiritual heights that our song would forever be, "He lives, because he lives in me".
How many of us are restless in spirit, troubled in mind, confused and longing for sweet peace that comes from above? We bombard others and talk shows with "pray for me" pleas because you can't control your children; your husband abuses you; you can't find a job; nobody on the job likes you and people are always picking on you; the government is not looking out for you; your representative won't give you anything.
When it gets to that point, you need to put down antiquated road maps and turn on to God's GPS for reliance to take us to our rightful destiny. There is no one other than Jesus Christ who can navigate us through the storm into peace and tranquility. I go around this island and see people in their need. I passed a huge building nearing completion -- a church to be exact -- and I thought of how it seems that it is a race to see who can have the largest church building - a building that is closed after Sunday service.
The wonderful and well-loved Psalm of David tells of his love for the caring of sheep and how God is the shepherd of our lives. Every good shepherd wants the best for his sheep. If you know today that the lord God is your shepherd, why are you so troubled? Do you doubt his tender mercy? Then why, at this Easter time, are you so nervous and edgy? Do you really believe that he is not dead, but alive?
The Lord is your shepherd and you need to know this in time of need. He promised to supply all your needs, and, if you believe, you will receive. The word "want" becomes obsolete when the Lord is your shepherd and "want" includes money.
The world is in such an uproar, and men's hearts are failing because of fear: fear that they will lose power; fear that popularity is fading; fear that other nations and peoples are rising up against them; fear that party support is slipping away; fear that dictatorial leadership is pushing for supremacy; fear that faithfulness, loyalty and credibility are foreign elements in time of reliance -- just plain fear within and without.
But, today in our text, there is hope for today and peace for tomorrow, and, in spite of all that you are going through, your helper is about to lead you beside still waters. You are about to experience a spiritual paradigm shift and soul-changing surgery. So while there is participation, there is also anticipation. You will drink in peace and safety for spiritual renewal.
Whatever your situation is today, as you too face many crosses in your life, allow the good shepherd, the resurrected Christ to be the leader. He alone knows the way through the wilderness of peril and uncertainty.
To be a wandering sheep and not love the fold, not heed the shepherd's voice and not be controlled, is detrimental to your spiritual wellness. Still waters will lead to restoration and newness of purpose and possibilities.
o E-mail, or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!

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News Article
Tourists demand that one-on-one experience

Position: Owner of Ocean Pearl Resort & Diamond Sunrise Restaurant and Bar

Guardian Business: Can you briefly describe your experience in the tourism sector?

Doris: Being an ambassador for my country has always been a part of my life. As a former athlete, I have been recognized in softball and track and field, and talking and selling my country is something that is very natural for me. My taste for tourism began at an early age, when I had to present a tourism related project for my BJC exam. This peaked my interest and upon completion of high school I applied for a government assistance grant for tourism related projects. Ocean Pearl (a 10-room resort in High Rock, Grand Bahama) was opened in the year 2000. Ocean Pearl caters to domestic and international visitors and is a community and culture focused operation. In 2009, I founded the High Rock Fishing Association Tournament, a community event geared at garnering greater community involvement with the residents.
Getting the local community involved in wholesome activity is very important, as the culture of the people can be shared. Cultural tourism is also important to our community. Some of the things we were also able to accomplish include refurbishing the boat ramp used by both locals and visitors alike and the most recent honoring of all senior citizens last year.

GB: Why did you chose tourism as a career?

Doris: I really didn't choose this as a career, but stumbled into it as I saw an opportunity to own my own business and show others the beauty of my settlement and all that is has to offer. I decided, with this land on the beach, why not use it to show my own people what can be done? If I can please my own people, it would be a plus pleasing visitors. Today I own and operate Ocean Pearl Resort, Diamond Sunrise Restaurant, and Sapphire Tours, which specializes in fishing excursions.

GB: What has been your most memorable moment?

Doris: My most memorable moment occurred in 2003. A visitor from New York came down for a week. It was obvious that he was going through personal issues, and as a result of our engagement, I was able to recommend to him some of the places to visit to find relaxation. He shared that no one ever took the time to ensure his well being and be so genuine. He said that after many walks on the beach based on my recommendation, he found solace and peace. He said that what I had was a gold mine, and as I shared with him my expansion plans, he immediately said he wanted to be a part of it. Upon his return to the United States, he wired funds to my account to aid in the building of my restaurant. To this day his family and mine remain very close friends, and as a result, he has sent other family members and friends to Ocean Pearl. When we dedicated and opened the Diamond Sunrise Restaurant, it was in his honor.

GB: Has the industry changed since you started your career?

Doris: Yes and no. Visitors are more discerning and savvy - they expect an experience and want to understand and appreciate hands-on the culture of the community. I think gone are the days of people wanting to stay for long periods of time in the mega hotels. There is a demand for that - but I feel the desire for that one-on-one experience is far greater. Technology has allowed the flow of information to change perceptions. That can help or hurt depending on the experience. The visitors still expects an experience that they can remember.

GB: What does The Bahamas need to focus on to stay competitive?

Doris: The Bahamas needs to focus on the smaller properties in support of the unique product that is offered. There are many challenges that smaller operations face financially and with the marketing of their businesses. I think if there is more support in these areas. We can attract more visitors to our shores.

GB: What advice would you give a young person who is considering a career in tourism?

Doris: My advice would be to forewarn them that this is not a 9-5 undertaking! You have to love what you do, you have to have charisma, you have to love people and be personable. You have to have a lot of energy and be able to communicate well. I can say if you have all of these qualities, tourism will choose you without you choosing tourism.

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News Article
Bid to improve cyber security

THE government said it has embarked on the development of a national cyber security strategy that will further strengthen the country's data protection capabilities by strengthening cyber crime legislation in the Bahamas.

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News Article
US Embassy marks the 10th anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Ten years ago on September 11, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 nations perished in a terrorist attack targeting the United States.  U.S. President Obama took inspiration from the victims and survivors of this tragic event by establishing September 11 as a National Day of Service.  Last year, 11.5 million people -- including the president and First Lady Michelle Obama -- participated in the day of service, helping charitable organizations and community groups throughout the United States.   
In response to U.S. President Barack Obama's call to service, U.S. Embassy Nassau marked the anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects on New Providence.  On the morning of September 9th, The U.S. Embassy's Chargè d'affaires, Mr. John Dinkelman, visited the G.K. Symonette Library to donate a collection of over 400 new Scholastic books for young readers as well as bookshelves, a rug, brightly colored pillows and a large nursery rhyme mural to brighten up the children's corner.  
The donation was a way for the U.S. Embassy to give back to the community of Yellow Elder Gardens by creating a bright, vibrant space where children can explore the world through reading.  On hand for the donation were second graders from C.W. Sawyer Primary School and Ms. Dorcas Bower from the Ministry of Education.

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News Article
Generator failure delays cases at Magistrates' Court Complex

Justice was delayed for hundreds of people yesterday when the back-up generator at the newly opened Magistrates Court Complex on South Street failed around 10 a.m.
Police evacuated the building, which was barely illuminated by emergency lights. Lawyers and litigants described the situation as "disgraceful" while they waited in the sweltering heat until the generator came online almost an hour and a half later.
Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) workers shut off the power to replace electricity poles on Nassau Street, The Nassau Guardian learned. A BEC technician said the court complex should not have been affected by the power outage.
He said, "They have a generator, which is not working. That's a brand new multi-million-dollar building with a generator."
Director of Public Works John Canton said the cause of the generator failure was under investigation.
Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez said everything went smoothly in the courts once power was restored. The building was still powered by the generator yesterday afternoon.
He said, "We had a late start because the back-up generator didn't function properly. They are supposed to be working on it to make sure that we won't have that problem again. We have more than adequate [power] supply with the generator."
Police Superintendent Oscar Sands said that prisoners remained in the holding cells during the blackout.

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News Article
Luncheon set for the 30th anniversary of the Bureau of Women's Affairs

Nassau, Bahamas - The Hon. Loretta Butler-Turner, Minister of State for Social Development, bringing remarks at a Press Conference Friday, June 10 at the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, East Hill St. to formally announce a luncheon set for the 30th anniversary of the Bureau of Women's Affairs.

Pictured from left: Lynn Symonette, assistant secretary; Min. Butler-Turner; and Barbara Burrows, permanent secretary...

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News Article
President Obama on ending the war in Afghanistan

U.S. President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan on May 1 to meet with President Hamid Karzai and sign a historic strategic partnership agreement as the United States prepares to withdrawal most of its forces by 2014.  In a televised address last night, President Obama provided an overview of the progress made over the last decade and details on the new relationship between the United States and Afghanistan. President Obama noted during his remarks that last year, the U.S. removed 10,000 troops from Afghanistan and announced that another 23,000 U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan by the end of the summer.  President Obama also discussed how the end of two wars will allow the United States to focus on a new set of national priorities.
Remarks by President Obama in Address to the Nation from Afghanistan
Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan
4:01 A.M. AFT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening from Bagram Air Base. This outpost is more than 7,000 miles from home, but for over a decade it's been close to our hearts. Because here, in Afghanistan, more than half a million of our sons and daughters have sacrificed to protect our country.
Today, I signed a historic agreement between the United States and Afghanistan that defines a new kind of relationship between our countries -- a future in which Afghans are responsible for the security of their nation, and we build an equal partnership between two sovereign states; a future in which war ends, and a new chapter begins.

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News Article
Grand Bahama Minister pledges support for fishing tournament

Freeport, Grand Grand Bahama - Minister
for Grand Bahama, the Honourable Dr. Michael Darville on Monday pledged
his Ministry's support for the upcoming 3rd Annual Grand Bahama
Shipyard Fishing Tournament scheduled for 6th April at the Grand Bahama
Yacht Club.

In announcing his Ministry's support of the tourney,
Dr. Darville said he was pleased to participate in any event whose
primary function is to assist the young people of our nation. He took
note of the fact that proceeds from the event will benefit the Bartlett
Hill Primary School, Martin Town Primary School and Holmes Rock Primary...

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News Article

One remarkable characteristic of the month-long celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of the Bahamas’ Independence was the birth of four prestigious events that celebrate the Bahamian people.

On July 22 at the National Art Gallery, the Bahamian Project showed the diversity of the Bahamian people through a selection of stunning black and white portraits by Duke Wells of well-known Bahamians from diverse walks of life. The next day, Jones Communications Network chose to honour 40 young Bahamians in its “40 Under 40 Awards”...

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News Article
White House Fact Sheet: A Moment of Opportunity in the Middle East and North Africa

we face an historic opportunity. We have embraced the chance to show
that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more
than the raw power of the dictator. There must be no doubt that the
United States of America welcomes change that advances
self-determination and opportunity. Yes, there will be perils that
accompany this moment of promise. But after decades of accepting the
world as it is in the region, we have a chance to pursue the world as it
should be."

President Barack Obama

recognizing the irreversible changes that have taken place in the
Middle East and North Africa in recent months, President Obama announced
a new approach to promoting democratic reform, economic development,
and peace and security across the region.

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News Article
Baha Mar embarking on beach restoration project

As part of its restoration and transformation of the Cable Beach area, Baha Mar will begin to correct major beach erosion that has taken place in the last couple of decades, according to Robert Sands, senior vice-president of administration and external affairs.
"At the end of this whole process we will have one contiguous [and] beautiful beach, transformed after an investment of millions of dollars by Baha Mar," noted Sands during a tour of the beach site yesterday.
Two towers of the Wyndham Nassau Resort, as well as the existing Nassau Beach Hotel will be demolished allowing for the breadth of the beach to stretch from the Sheraton Resort through the new Baha Mar resort.
"[We will] make this area as pristine and serene as it used to be," Sands said.
"The reasons you see this chain-link fencing here today is to temporarily restrict any public movement within this area during construction. Safety is our number one priority, but this in no way is any indication that Bahamians will be denied beach access."
He explained that the beach will be developed in three major phases.
In the first phase -- which is expected to be completed within 16 weeks -- a seawall will be installed to protect the beach and hotels in the event of a hurricane
Following phase one, a series of boulders will be placed in specific areas of the beach strip to further protect it.
In phase three a breakwater, which also protects against hurricanes and allows sand to build back on the beach, will be built, according to Sands.
Phase three is expected to begin in June and will take from six months to a year to complete, he said.
"[Phase one] is about to start and has been awarded to a Bahamian construction company to the tune of multiple millions of dollars."
However, he did not reveal the total cost of the beach project as some aspects have not yet gone to bid.
Sands also pointed out that the beach is still accessible via a single walkway east of the Nassau Beach Hotel, which will be maintained until construction begins in that area.
He added: "Bahamians will be able to access the beach in areas that are not currently under construction... This will allow the beach to look like it did back in the 70s and the generations of Bahamians to come [will enjoy] this beach's original natural beauty."

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News Article
Happy Hour New Year's Eve at Sabor

Freeport, Grand Bahama -

Bring in the New Year with Happy Hour all night long at

Sabor Restaurant and Bar.

Dance to DJ Steelie. 

No Entrance Fee, and the best view of the fireworks at midnight!

2 for 1 regular mixed drinks and assorted Finlandia Vodka martinis. Or try our new sparkling wine. 2 for 1 on our Serpone Celebration or Brut Serpone Celebration Rose...

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News Article
Resorts World Bimini Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Bahamian Independence

On July 10th, Resorts World Bimini proudly celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Bahamas Independence by sailing Bimini SuperFast from Miami in about two hours at a speed of up to 30 knots.

On arrival, about half of Bimini's adult population stepped aboard Bimini SuperFast and toured the six restaurants and bars, cabins, casinos and public lounges, while enjoying food and entertainment on the Party Deck...

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News Article
Goodman’s Bay playground ‘dangerous’ for children

Concerned parents and teachers are demanding the dismantling of “dangerous” playground equipment and stricter regulation of play areas in public parks and primary schools.

With claims of children’s lives being put at risk, one of the public playgrounds that has come under scrutiny is the popular play area at Goodman’s Beach.

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News Article
Happy Hour New Year's Eve at Sabor

Freeport, Grand Bahama -

Bring in the New Year with Happy Hour all night long at

Sabor Restaurant and Bar.

Dance to DJ Steelie. 

No Entrance Fee, and the best view of the fireworks at midnight!

2 for 1 regular mixed drinks and assorted Finlandia Vodka martinis. Or try our new sparkling wine. 2 for 1 on our Serpone Celebration or Brut Serpone Celebration Rose...

read more »

News Article
Today's Gas Prices
Today's Gas Prices

Today's Gas Prices Shell $5.53, Esso $5.73 and Texaco $5.55 Texaco Harbour bay is Esso Bargain City between the hours of 12am-5:30am is $5.28

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News Article
A need to move away from pre-budget elections

Over the next few weeks our politicians will put their full efforts into campaigning. For some, this is their last chance at elected office. Millions will be spent. Promises will be made. Much will be sacrificed to win.

On May 7, barring a strange dead heat, a new government will be elected. The Parliament will then meet on May 23. While the first sitting of Parliament is usually ceremonial, serious work will have to begin right away. The new government at the end of May will bring the new budget forward a few mere weeks after the general election.

As a result of the short time between the election and the presentation of the new budget, it will be largely a Free National Movement(FNM)crafted budget whether the governing party wins the general election or not.

This is the third consecutive May election in The Bahamas. There is no need for elections so close to the presentation of the budget. Under our current system prime ministers could give the instruction at anytime to call an election. It would be useful for us to call elections at times that give new administrations enough time to craft their own budgets.

Major policy initiatives and changes of direction for countries are usually presented in budgets. Finance ministers set out how much the initiatives will cost and how they will be pursued. It is critical that this not be a rushed process.

The FNM in 2007 made changes to what it met in process left by last Christie administration. However, how different would that budget have been if as a new administration it had a few months to prepare after a hectic general election?

Hopefully, we will move away from pre-budget elections. Under the current system our leaders only need choose a different election date and this problem could be solved.

Unnecessary political rhetoric

During election campaigns people get carried away. On podia while addressing supporters, politicians especially get carried away. Last week at the Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)rally at Arawak Cay the PLP's MICAL MP and candidate, Alfred Gray, warned supporters that if Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham wins the next general election there may be no more elections.

Such hyperbolic rhetoric is unnecessary. Gray's statement is also untrue and silly. Ingraham won in 1992 and there was an election in 1997. He won in 2007 and there is about to be an election on May 7. Why suggest that the PM is not democratic?

The parties should continue to state their cases aggressively on the campaign trail. However, speakers should not make untrue statements just to scare voters to their side. The electorate deserves better than this.

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News Article
There must be a mindset to stimulate

With more than 25 years of experience in the real estate field, Mario Carey has sold more than $1 billion worth of property around the world. He began his career in The Bahamas at Bahamas Realty where he enjoyed the position of top sales broker for 18 consecutive years. In May 2008, he founded Mario Carey Realty, a full-service luxury real estate company.

Guardian Business:
What is the biggest challenge facing your business or sector?

Mario: Global economic conditions remain grim, negatively impacting the real estate market and I do not mean just those people who work in the profession, but more importantly, the ability of people to become homeowners. Many governments recognize the importance of real estate to the overall economy, and in those countries, policies foster sales with range of tools that provide a more affordable means of doing business, provide affordable credit and lower the carrying cost of property ownership. Unfortunately, that is not the case in The Bahamas where there appears to be a lack of appreciation for just how vital the real estate market is to the country's overall economic well-being. This needs to change and I would humbly suggest that such change begin with resumption of long-absent meetings between decision-makers and those in the real estate industry. Once consultation has again resumed, we urgently need to look at policies favorable to stimulating the real estate market, moving away from tax increases that hamper residential development toward providing incentives to stimulate growth. Think about selling a furnished house and the taxes involved. Building materials have been taxed a duty, normally 38 percent, then all the furniture has been taxed say 38 percent, then the sale happens and the total price including the furniture is taxed again at the stamp duty rate. This equals double taxation. When market values are on a decline, an investor has little faith he would be able to make a profit due to such high taxation. The developers of a subdivision then get hit with the cost to build a home being stamp duty-charged. With so much uncertainty in the cost to build and other unknowns, developers are understandably reluctant to build spec homes. There has to be a mindset to stimulate and create activity.

GB: Can you describe a life experience that changed how you approach work today?

Mario: For 18 years, I was with another firm as a director/broker. In 2008, I opened MCR and began wearing a number of hats - owner, manager, marketer - while continuing to handle sales at a high professional level and demonstrating leadership with others in the office, wanting them to follow the lead of working smart, being determined and showing initiative. I also wanted to make a positive difference in people's lives. My team knew I was new in the role of leadership. They allowed me to make mistakes. Yet they know I have a high standard of ethics and I'm determined to make a positive contribution to their lives and to the community. My initial thought in 2008 was to be a small, one-man type office and focus on a very specific segment of the market. This lasted for about a month, as I felt a calling to teach, to be challenged and do things I had never done before.

GB: What makes a great boss? What makes a bad boss?

Mario: Until you have been in the position, you do not realize how demanding the role of being a boss is. My approach calls for open discussion and to encourage others to strive for excellence. We focus on goals and the processes to achieve those goals. I get excited by new ideas, and I want the team to feel that same excitement. I want them to share the feeling that there are no limits on ability so long as you stay true to your principles and are not afraid of change. I think providing a safe and professional environment for my team to excel in is critical. I think bad bosses are more interested in titles and power and have a need for their egos to be fulfilled. We are in a very competitive business. There are some 650 registered BREA agents. The important thing is to work as a team. At MCR, we cover each other's backs. We are team-oriented, civic-minded and we have fun at what we do. That's the atmosphere I want to preserve. If I am able to achieve this, then I'm a successful boss.

GB: If you could change one thing concerning business in The Bahamas, what would it be?

Mario: In my case it would be lowering the cost of doing business in the real estate sector across the board, knowing the positive economic domino effect of each transaction and how much of a positive impact it makes on our country. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), every time a home sells three full time jobs are created. This statistic alone speaks volumes of why the Bahamas needs more sales. Unemployment is on an alarming rise, home foreclosures are increasing and there are no known current adjustments to bank or government policies that address this problem. The economic gap between the haves and the have-nots has recently been shown to be widening. Most of these woes can be aided by more residential sales. More sales would also lead more Bahamians of talent to consider real estate as a career and I welcome new, talented people. Another report by NAR shows only three percent of its members hold a bachelor's degree in real estate. Yet there is so much opportunity for diversified careers beyond selling. The list of jobs includes appraisals, home inspectors, commercial developers, property managers, time share development. I have been attending high school career workshops encouraging students to look at real estate as a possible major.

GB: What keeps you grounded?

Mario: Good salespeople tend to be high income earners because of the risk of working a commission-based job versus a salaried position - the higher the risk, the more reward. With this comes a lot of stress. To offset this, I'm very much into my health and charity work, primarily the autism organization R.E.A.C.H., of which I serve as president. Having a son who's autistic helps you keep life in perspective. You learn that small things really do count. Through my sport, which is triathlons, I'm always representing R.E.A.C.H., speaking about autism or raising funds and awareness. My other interest is spear fishing which is my ultimate passion. I have so many stories of survival, being attacked by sharks and barracudas, having boats sink in shark-infested waters and seeing death, being adrift at sea waiting to be rescued, yet it's what I love to do. Yoga and meditation also help with the day-to-day stress. Diet is such a big part of one's overall health. Currently I'm exploring the vegan diet and having special meals prepared for me. The interest is to lose weight, minimize medical needs and be around later in life to enjoy my grandchildren.

GB: How would you describe the ease of doing business in The Bahamas?

Mario: Doing business in The Bahamas can be both easy and challenging. The process of setting up a limited company and getting a business license is pretty straightforward. However, the process of securing a business loan or settling a matter in the courts can be a huge challenge. Better access to credit would advance entrepreneurship but it's also important for those wanting to go into business for themselves to understand the need for a proper business plan. I am concerned about current trends, that poverty is increasing, the middle class is shrinking and the very wealthy are accruing even more wealth. Any country with this model of social and economic imbalance sets itself up for instability and class tension. This is a cause for concern, but there are remedies if only we recognize that change is needed and opening up the avenues for business will pave the way to a better future for the country as a whole.

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