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News Article

November 18, 2010
Building supplies firms suffer from 'flat' environment

By ALISON LOWE

Business Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

With the Central Bank of the Bahamas describing activity in the construction sector as "anemic" and "decelerating", Bahamian building supply stores yesterday reported flat or declining sales, with one supplier revealing he may temporarily close his doors next year until conditions improve.

The major supplier,who did not wish to be named, said he has had to let go dozens of employees, leaving only a "skeleton crew" of workers since last year. He has determined that within the next month he will have to decide whether closure next year will be necessary to keep the business alive in the long run.

Another major ...

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News Article

October 14, 2011
Raising the ruins

Dear Editor,

It is now commonly accepted and clearly acknowledged, except by the most diehard supporters of the Free National Movement (FNM), that the country, especially here in New Providence and over in Grand Bahama, is being badly run.

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News Article

November 21, 2013
Answers sought over 'stolen' NIB funds

Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday questioned why the National Insurance Board (NIB) did not press charges against employees over the alleged misappropriation of $45,000.
Speaking in the House of Assembly, Butler-Turner said an employee resigned over the allegations and another was fired, but said authorities should go a step further and take legal action.
Butler-Turner also asked if NIB has a contract with the Source River Group, headed by former Cabinet minister Tennyson Wells, to store its documents.
She said the facility, located at the old Bacardi plant, is the place where National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson recently held a private party which she said raises concerns.
Butler-Turner called on the government to reveal if NIB has a contract with Source River for document storage and also if the agency is funding the refurbishment of the facility.
On the issue of the alleged theft, she said: "A few weeks ago I was following a lead on some monies that were misappropriated and stolen at National Insurance.
"And I had reason to be concerned enough as the shadow minister for National Insurance to actually speak with the chairman of the board and to also speak with the director.
"I must say that while the chairman did not know, the director claims she did not know either. To this day, Mr. Speaker, one NIB staffer has resigned and the other person, who was on contract, has been fired.
"I am reliably informed, it's some $45,000 or more [that] was used of National Insurance money."
Butler-Turner also questioned if NIB employees stole other items from the agency.
"I understand that from time to time National Insurance brings in trailers of supplies for builders and various contractors who are doing work for National Insurance and then that money that is paid by NIB is then deducted from their contract.
"We want to know if one of those trailers with building materials has in fact gone missing and if it has gone missing, when does he [National Insurance Minister Shane Gibson] intend to make that known to the public because, Mr. Speaker, the National Insurance Fund is not a slush fund.
"It's a fund where we place our monies for retirement and for other benefits such as sickness."
Gibson was not present in the House to respond to the claims.
However, Yamacraw MP Melanie Griffin said the alleged theft of NIB's money has been dealt with. She also called on Butler-Turner to withdraw her comments about the trailer unless she could prove the claim.
"On the first matter, the matter was all in the press ...The procedures work; what we're saying is that the steps that have been put in place to deal with such matters work and so the matter was dealt with already," Griffin said.
However, Speaker of the House Dr. Kendal Major said Butler-Turner had a right to raise questions about NIB and did not have to withdraw her statements.
Butler-Turner suggested that it was ironic that parliamentarians were debating crime bills but not prosecuting those suspected of stealing from the government.
"To state that stolen monies were dealt with in the press, the point I'm trying to make is that matter did not go to court," she said. "I do not think that it is sufficient that somebody should just be fired or that somebody should just resign."

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News Article

September 28, 2011
Roofing supplies donated to NEMA

Bahamas Environmental Contractors Industries, a local environmental contracting company, made a donation yesterday to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist ongoing hurricane relief efforts throughout the Family Islands.
The company donated nearly 30 tarps and a number of poly sheets to be used as roof covering, and duct tape.
Dr. Barry Izzard, Bahamas Environmental Contractors Industries vice president, met with NEMA director Captain Stephen Russell near the Nassau Beach Hotel yesterday to announce the donation.  Dr. Izzard said the combined donations in supplies, which value $5,000, would help those who have been affected by Hurricane Irene, particularly in Cat Island and Acklins.
Dr. Izzard added that the heavy rainfall last weekend slowed building efforts on several islands.
"When that rain started on Thursday, we got cries from every sector of The Bahamas where they saw water coming into those areas that were exposed," he said.
Russell recently confirmed that his agency has so far received $528,000 in cash donations, not including grants.  Some of the money has already been distributed to several islands.
Russell said yesterday that 2,700 homes were impacted in some way by the storm.
"This storm has affected the entire archipelago of The Bahamas from Mayaguana in the south all the way up to Grand Cay in the north," he said.
Yesterday's donation by Bahamas Environmental Contractors Industries is expected to reach Cat Island by the end of this week and the donation of supplies made by the company earlier this week is already being transported to the island, according to Russell.

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News Article

October 27, 2011
Elite lounge seeks 'best of the best'

A multi-million-dollar fishing lodge now under construction in Abaco plans to attract "the best of the best" when it comes to tourism, while providing the heart of a development that could change the island's economy.
Through a powerful joint venture, The Black Fly Fishing Lodge in the Schooner Bay development is trying to catch the big fish.
"Fly fishing clientele are top of the food chain when it comes to tourism in this country," said Clint Kemp, one of the key investors behind the project.
"Not only are they high net worth, but they tend to come in private aircrafts and are excellent repeat visitors. They aren't just coming for one week. They bring their friends and family and their presence often leads to further investment."
The lodge, slated for completion in 2013, will feature eight large rooms, a restaurant, bar and supplies store. A new fleet of boats will also be offered, giving guests access to salt-water fly fishing and deep water fishing.
Coming in at $1,000 per night for the full experience, the boutique lodge is meant to cater to exclusive guests which are often synonymous with the sport.
Meanwhile, Black Fly has also partnered with Nervous Waters, one of the most recognizable names in fly fishing, which operates 14 establishments all over the world.
Kemp told Guardian Business that Nervous Waters has bought a stake in the lodge and now acts as a shareholder.
"They bought a substantial stake in the company," he explained.
"That gives us the good housing seal of approval."
Kemp said the lodge will also be open to the general public, although certain areas are meant for guests only, such as the cigar smoking room on the top floor.
Kemp estimated the initial cost of the project to be between $4 million and $5 million.
But beyond the exclusivity of one lodge, Orjan Lindroth the president of the development company behind Schooner Bay, added that this venture serves as a centerpiece for what should one day become a flourishing harbor town.
"The lodge sits at the head," he told Guardian Business.
"It's very important architecturally and creates that feel. It will become a meeting place for friends and family."
Lindroth explained the idea behind the property is to create a "robust business model" that can cater to not just the tourists but the community as well.
As work on the lodge kicks into gear, Schooner Bay continues to rise up around it.
Lindroth said five houses are now complete, and another 10 are expected to be done in the late winter or early spring. Five other separate dwellings are slated to begin construction around Christmas.
A six-unit condominium unit, consisting of traditional buildings with both residential and commercial units, is breaking ground in February 2012, he added.
Several of these units have been sold already, with prices ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.
Lindroth said the pricing is meant to reflect the wide cross-section residents Schooner Bay wishes to attract.
The harbor opened in June, with the lodge resting at its mouth.
The name for the lodge, Lindroth added, came from Vaughn Cochran, the artist and owner of Black Fly Outfitters, which sells world-famous merchandise bearing his logo.
Cochran is also a shareholder in the new lodge.
Kemp called Cochran's involvement and the Black Fly name a "lifestyle statement" lending further credibility to the project.
He said no other lodge like this exists in The Bahamas. What makes the venture particularly unique, he felt, was the fact the lodge is located in a community.
"This is the only one that incorporates itself into the community," he said.
"To have a fishing lodge in a community where they can interact with people is important. It means a higher, more textured experience. As it becomes a living town, our guests will want to be a part of that."

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News Article

October 27, 2011
Elite lodge seeks 'best of the best'

A multi-million-dollar fishing lodge now under construction in Abaco plans to attract "the best of the best" when it comes to tourism, while providing the heart of a development that could change the island's economy.
Through a powerful joint venture, Black Fly Bonefish Lodge in the Schooner Bay development is trying to catch the big fish.
"Fly fishing clientele are top of the food chain when it comes to tourism in this country," said Clint Kemp, one of the key investors behind the project.
"Not only are they high net worth, but they tend to come in private aircrafts and are excellent repeat visitors. They aren't just coming for one week. They bring their friends and family and their presence often leads to further investment."
The lodge, slated for completion in 2013, will feature eight large rooms, a restaurant, bar and supplies store. A new fleet of boats will also be offered, giving guests access to salt-water fly fishing and deep water fishing.
Coming in at $1,000 per night for the full experience, the boutique lodge is meant to cater to exclusive guests which are often synonymous with the sport.
Meanwhile, Black Fly has also partnered with Nervous Waters, one of the most recognizable names in fly fishing, which operates 14 establishments all over the world.
Kemp told Guardian Business that Nervous Waters has bought a stake in the lodge and now acts as a shareholder.
"They bought a substantial stake in the company," he explained.
"That gives us the good housing seal of approval."
Kemp said the lodge will also be open to the general public, although certain areas are meant for guests only, such as the cigar smoking room on the top floor.
Kemp estimated the initial cost of the project to be between $4 million and $5 million.
But beyond the exclusivity of one lodge, Orjan Lindroth the president of the development company behind Schooner Bay, added that this venture serves as a centerpiece for what should one day become a flourishing harbor town.
"The lodge sits at the head," he told Guardian Business.
"It's very important architecturally and creates that feel. It will become a meeting place for friends and family."
Lindroth explained the idea behind the property is to create a "robust business model" that can cater to not just the tourists but the community as well.
As work on the lodge kicks into gear, Schooner Bay continues to rise up around it.
Lindroth said five houses are now complete, and another 10 are expected to be done in the late winter or early spring. Five other separate dwellings are slated to begin construction around Christmas.
A six-unit condominium unit, consisting of traditional buildings with both residential and commercial units, is breaking ground in February 2012, he added.
Several of these units have been sold already, with prices ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.
Lindroth said the pricing is meant to reflect the wide cross-section residents Schooner Bay wishes to attract.
The harbor opened in June, with the lodge resting at its mouth.
The name for the lodge, Lindroth added, came from Vaughn Cochran, the artist and owner of Black Fly Outfitters, which sells world-famous merchandise bearing his logo.
Cochran is also a shareholder in the new lodge.
Kemp called Cochran's involvement and the Black Fly name a "lifestyle statement" lending further credibility to the project.
He said no other lodge like this exists in The Bahamas. What makes the venture particularly unique, he felt, was the fact the lodge is located in a community.
"This is the only one that incorporates itself into the community," he said.
"To have a fishing lodge in a community where they can interact with people is important. It means a higher, more textured experience. As it becomes a living town, our guests will want to be a part of that."

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News Article

January 25, 2012
BCA presents top honors at annual luncheon

The Bahamian Contractors' Association (BCA) honored several of the country's top contractors during its second annual Christmas Awards Luncheon held on December 15 2011.  Awards were given to contractors in four major BCA membership categories, which include building contractor of the year levels one through three and general contractor of the year.
Building Contractor of the year level one, which recognizes contractors certified to build single story structures up to 5,000 square feet, went to BJ's Cabinetry and Construction.
BJ's Cabinetry proprietor, Mr. Basil L. Neely, was on hand to accept the award.
The Building Contractor of the year level two, which recognizes contractors certified to build up to two story structures of up to 10,000 square feet, was awarded to D.H. Builders and Construction Company.
Company owner Dene Hales said that he was honored to receive the award.
Fast Track Construction received the building contractor of the year level three award.
BCA level three contractors are certified to build up to three story structures of up to 15,000 square feet.
General contractor of the year, which recognizes the large construction firms who build structures of three or more stories in excess of 15,000 square feet, went to Woslee Construction.
The highlight of the event came when James George Mosko, the 2011 recipient of the BCA's lifetime achievement honor, was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation to accept his award.
The lifetime achievement award is given to members of the construction community who have made many years of notable contributions to the growth of the industry.
In 2001 Mr. Mosko was also awarded an O.B.E. for service to the construction industry. His construction company, Mosko's United Construction Co., was founded in 1958.
Another highlight of the luncheon was the president's address, given by Association President Godfrey Forbes.
Forbes mentioned a few of the many initiatives that will be developed by the BCA in 2012, which include expanded training and certification courses for contractors and the introduction of membership cards and the BCA member discount program.
Forbes also announced that in October of 2012 the BCA will host a conference of over 200 contractors from 20 regional entities  including the Trinidad and Tobago Contractors Association, Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica , Builder's and Contractors Association of Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines Contractors Association, and the Barbados Contractors Association.
This workshop will include guest speakers who will deliver presentations that will build greater awareness amongst participants on cutting edge procedures and practices within the various divisions of the construction industry.
It will also offer international exposure for our sector and networking opportunities for BCA members.
The awards luncheon, received good support from the construction community.  The platinum sponsor of the event was Caribbean International.
Other sponsors included Commonwealth Building Supplies, National Plumbing, Tops Builders International and Oldcastle Building Products.
One luncheon feature, which was highly anticipated by attendees, was the give-a-ways and door prizes, which were provided by JBR Building Supplies, Tops Lumber, AG Electric Co., Henry F. Storr Electric Co. and John Bull Ltd.
BCA is a non-profit organization that was established in 1958 out of a need for the collaboration and organization of contractors, to promote the advancement of the construction industry through the adoption and regulation of good practices.

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News Article

September 01, 2011
PM signs exigency order for hurricane relief

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday signed an exigency order that will allow residents, businesses and hotel owners in Cat Island and Acklins who have been hard hit by Hurricane Irene to bring in certain goods duty free for up to six months.
Residents on Long Cay, Mayaguana, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Inagua and Ragged Island will also benefit from the order.
However, their duty exemption period will be 90 days, the government announced yesterday.
The tax exemption effort, which begins today, will likely impact hundreds of residents and businesses on those islands.
In order for the residents to qualify for the exemption, the minister of finance has to be satisfied that the goods are intended for the relief of residents in the islands mentioned who suffered hardship or loss as a result of Hurricane Irene, the statement said.
Duty free goods include building materials, electrical fixtures and materials, plumbing fixtures and materials, household furniture, and furnishing and appliances.
Also duty free are motor vehicles, motor cycles, and golf carts.
Claims or applications for the duty exemption of those products and goods must be certified by the director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Those in the farming industry whose crops or machinery were damaged can apply to bring in duty free items including supplies for reconstruction and repair to greenhouses, including plant sleeves, timers, plant pots and soil-less growth; supplies for the reconstruction and repair to poultry houses; supplies for the reconstruction and repair of irrigation systems; nursery stock for the re-establishment of fruit orchards; and items required for fencing.
Those in the fishing industry can apply to bring in goods including galvanized sheeting and other materials used in the construction of fishing habitats; fishing boats and fishing gear and apparatus.
The notice added that an individual located anywhere in The Bahamas who suffered hardship or loss to property as a result of Hurricane Irene may also apply for duty relief and will be certified by the appropriate official.
"Where any abuse or misuse of goods imported under this declaration is observed, the goods may be seized and disposed of in accordance with Section 83 of the Customs Management Act," the notice added. 

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News Article

September 08, 2010
Former Freeport Concrete CEO is back in business

* Teams up with son to open building supplies business from firm's former Home Centre premises, which is owned by Freeport

Concrete chair Babak

* Set to employ 12-14

persons and sell from 25,00 square foot space alongside Butler's Food World

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

Former Freeport Concrete chief executive Raymond Simpson and his son are going back into business in the Home Centre building that the former BISX-listed company vacated weeks ago, aiming to initially employ 12-14 persons at a firm that while supply similar products - building and home supplies - from 25,000 square feet of space.

Mr Simpson and his son, also called Raymond, said they were putt ...

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News Article

December 28, 2011
Hurricane Irene's destructive path

Hurricane Irene weaved a destructive path across The Bahamas in August, ripping off roofs, toppling trees and breaking utility poles.
As the storm barreled toward the country, just over 1,000 people sought refuge at hurricane shelters.
Packing winds in excess of 100 miles per hour, the powerful storm made landfall on August 23.
Four months later, rebuilding efforts continue.
The category three storm flattened houses and left several Family Islands without electricity for weeks, including Cat Island, which also partially lost its telecommunication services.
Water supplies throughout several islands were also affected.
The storm caused serious structural damage to some government offices, clinics, schools, police stations, and other infrastructure across the country.
Serious damage was also done to public docks in Cooper's Town and Moore's Island, Abaco, and in George Town, Exuma.
Private dwellings and businesses in some Family Islands, including Acklins, Crooked Island, Cat Island, Mayaguana, Exuma and some communities in Abaco were also damaged.
In Orange Creek, Cat Island, 20 percent of buildings were rendered uninhabitable.
Speaking to reporters following the passage of Irene, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said, "Most other island communities have reported varying degrees of damage to private homes, businesses, farms, fishing boats and churches.
"Roofs of homes and other buildings sustained damage in Mayaguana, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Long Island, Eleuthera, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island, Exuma, Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence.
"Thankfully, Grand Bahama, which bore the brunt of the hurricanes impacting our country in 2004 [and] 2005, was spared the worst of the impact of Hurricane Irene.  Reports indicate that while the eastern end of the island was harder hit than other parts, much of the island received minimal impact from the storm's passing."
New Providence was also spared the brunt of the storm.  Fallen trees and damaged roofs were reported throughout the island.
However, the temporary site that housed the downtown straw market was destroyed, forcing vendors to set up shop on the nearby wharf.
Vendors have since been relocated to the new straw market.
Despite the damage, Ingraham acknowledged that "things could have been much worse".
While The Bahamas was spared serious devastation, the damage was estimated to be in the millions of dollars.
Relief poured in to affected residents from around the country and from outside agencies.
Additionally, the government spent over $300,000 on repair-related expenses for homes in the MICAL constituency that were damaged, and thousands more in other parts of the country.
The Bahamas Electricity Corporation and the Water and Sewerage Corporation also paid substantial sums of money for the repairs made to the electricity and water services.
Hurricane Irene caused nearly $37 million in government losses in The Bahamas, according to the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
In September, Ingraham signed a grant agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for $200,000 that went toward hurricane relief efforts overseen by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
NEMA received more than $850,000 in cash donations-- not including grants, according to officials.

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