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FOUR Bahamian businesses - a restaurant and three luxury retailers recently came up winners in the MasterCard-Ministry of Tourism 'Find Your Way' initiative, walking away with an early Christmas present of cash from the international credit and debit card company for being number one in the increase of MasterCard sales volume for the month.
The most recent winners were the Kafe Kalik restaurant at Lynden Pindling International Airport, Carlo Milano and Effy Jewellers of Bay Street, and A la Plage, Marina Village, Paradise Island. Each received international recognition and a cheque for $1,000, rewarding them for their performance.
"The outstanding performance of our winning merchant ...
Two Bahamian owned and operated destination management companies (DMCs) and a number of Bahamian subcontractors staged the recent Baha?Mar groundbreaking ceremony and celebratory dinner, which cost in access of $250,000.
The celebratory dinner was held on the evening of February 21, and the groundbreaking event was held the following day. The project has been billed by developers as perhaps the largest of its kind currently in process anywhere in the world.
Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar chairman and CEO, said to the media after the groundbreaking event on Monday that it is businesses like the two DMCs and the various Bahamian subcontractors hired for the events, that he hoped would benefit f ...
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Government's plans to provide assistance to businesses impacted by the New Providence Road Improvement Project was hailed as a good move yesterday, with Coconut Grove Business League (CBGL) spokesman, Ethric Bowe, telling Tribune Business: "It's never too late to do the right thing."
Speaking after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced the first concrete steps towards compensation, with Ministry of Finance personnel delivering survey questionnaires to all impacted businesses, Mr Bowe said: "I am hopeful and trying to keep an open mind about it.
"I think now they realise the extent to ...
The court-appointed liquidator charged with recovering assets related to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that they are investigating a Bahamas-based bank that may have had knowledge of Bernie Madoff's fraud that eventually robbed his clients of billions and billions of dollars.
Kenneth Krys, CEO and founder of Krys and Associates Cayman Limited and liquidator for British Virgin Island's-based feeder fund, Fairfield Greenwich Sentry, said that some Bahamas-based institutions are "quite" intricately involved with Madoff's ponzi scheme.
A local jewelry store owner is throwing his support behind National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage's desire to shut down "cash for gold" enterprises, however, one local operator is calling it unfair and noted it would undoubtedly hurt Bahamians.
The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, told Guardian Business that his business has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and more than 50 percent of his employees have been robbed for their gold jewelry.
"People are stealing jewelry and taking it to cash for gold businesses. My staff is terrified. They've been accosted on jitneys on their way to work and their jewelry has been stolen. It is a national problem and it's very difficult as a business owner because everyone has the right to operate a legitimate business," the owner said.
"I see chains getting ripped off tourists on Bay Street. It's happening throughout the island. It has touched almost everyone in this nation in a negative way.
"The loss to my business has been great, hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have not worn a piece of gold jewelry in two years. We have 33 employees. More than 50 percent of my employees have been affected by it. I have never seen one thing touch such a large number of people."
During his contribution to the 2013/2014 budget debate, Dr. Nottage said many "cash for gold" operators are not living up to their responsibilities as outlined in the legislation governing the industry.
"There are lots of crime associated with gold, with people snatching gold chains, with people breaking into homes and taking jewelry," he pointed out .
However, Nottage's comments are not sitting well with the president of Gold Rush Bahamas, who said it would only put a dent in the jewelry buying business and also hurt the Bahamian people.
Gold Rush Bahamas has three locations: Robinson Road East, Zion Boulevard off East Street South and Farrington Road and employs 10 people.
"We service a lot of clients that have problems financially. It is definitely hard times out there. We have hardworking customers that come in and they need funds. We also provide cash loans that are short-term and people do not necessarily want to part with their jewelry. It would definitely put a cramp in the jewelry buying industry and hurt the Bahamian people also," shared the operator, who wished to use his name.
"Right now, we currently employ 10 people with the three locations that we have. That means that 10 people will be without a job."
He defended that the 'cash for gold' business, calling it a "worldwide" business. The operator told Guardian Business that it is not fair to punish all business owners for the few that may not have complied with the regulations for the industry set out by the government.
"We actually get our prices on what we pay out from the New York Stock Exchange. I personally do not think that the closure of cash for gold will stop anything as it pertains to jewelry theft or robberies. We have a system implemented that came down directly from the authorities, the police said we must take government-issued IDs," according to the operator.
"All of these things are put in place for us to protect ourselves but maybe there are some of the smaller companies who take jewelry without the proper identification."
In fact, the operator believes that if 'cash for gold' businesses are forced to shut down, it could lead to an "underground market" being formed.
"If someone can't cash in The Bahamas, then you would force an underground market just like with drugs now. Drugs are illegal so what happens is you have things that happen underground like the numbers industry. You cause an increase in crime rather than eradicating the problem," he added.
The Pawnbrokers and Second-Hand Dealers Act 2011 imposes upon a business owner or dealers the duty and responsibility to verify the identity of customers, maintain records and keep certain items in an unaltered state for specified periods.
The bill also empowers a police officer, acting on reasonable suspicion, to enter a dealer's premises and request the production of all articles in possession of that dealer for inspection, and request the production of copies of records are to be kept by the dealer.
The Coconut Grove Business League (CGBL) could be heading back to court within the next month, this time to the Privy Council.
Ethric Bowe, spokesperson for CGBL, confirmed to Guardian Business that the group has instructed its lawyer to take the matter to the Privy Council, as businesses have yet to recover as a result of the road changes...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
Freeport businesses have "grave concerns" and feel "under attack" over demands that they be in good-standing with the National Insurance Board (NIB) before their 'over-the-counter' bond letters are renewed, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce's president yesterday telling Tribune Business that Customs was even ignoring payment arrangements worked out with NIB.
K. Peter Turnquest explained to this newspaper that even though Freeport companies may have worked out payments plans with NIB to bring their contributions current, unless their balance was zero and up-to-date, their bond letters were not being renewed for 2011.
THE Ministry of Environment has issued a list of the companies granted licenses to search for oil in the Bahamas and their current status in response to continuing claims that the moratorium on exploratory drilling is being violated.
Releasing the list, Environment Minister Earl Deveaux reiterated that the government told all licensees to "hold off" on drilling in 2008 due to boundary talks with Cuba, and the moratorium was extended following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr Deveaux said the moratorium is very much still in place and will continue to be until extensive study and consultation is carried out.
He said: "The way of life in the Bahamas is d ...
By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A PLP MP yesterday suggested the Government had temporarily withdrawn three Bills for fear that in complying with the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development's (OECD) record-keeping demands they would create a bureaucratic and 'red tape' nightmare for domestic Bahamian businesses.
Ryan Pinder, a tax attorney and the current representative for Elizabeth, told Tribune Business that the package of company-related legislative amendments recently tabled in the Senate was more notable for what it did not contain, namely changes to the Companies Act, General Partnership Act and Business Licence Act.
The Bills currently before the ...
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
BAHAMIAN bottled water depots and distributors yesterday told Tribune Business they were inundated with customers looking to stock up for Hurricane Irene, one even having to call the police to maintain order.
Jeffrey Knowles, operations manager at Aquapure, told Tribune Business yesterday operations at the company's water depot had been hectic.
"It's been really hectic," he said. "We had people out there from a quarter to seven, and the depot opens at 8.30 am. We even had to get the police out there. It's what we go through during these kind of times. Our staff right now is stretched to the ...