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Business Listing

G Q Diplomat Barber Beauty & Nail Salon
Barber Shops,Beauty Salons
  • Tedder St Palmdale
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
VAT bill revealed

The legislation and regulations the government drafted to guide its value-added tax (VAT) regime when it takes effect next July would tax over 80 different professions, cable bills and phone bills for all consumers, and electricity and water bills for businesses.
The Value Added Tax Bill 2013, and the Value Added Tax Regulations 2013, obtained by The Nassau Guardian, propose a flat tax rate of 15 percent on a long list of professional services, utilities and imported goods.
Financial services carried out for a specific fee, many financial transactions and insurance transactions and premiums, except for health and life insurance, will also be subject to VAT.
As has been widely reported, hotel rooms and food and beverage transactions would be taxed at a rate of 10 percent.
Condominiums that are part of a hotel complex, even if they're part of a rental pool, would be taxed as well.
However, some services and goods will be exempt from the new tax.
A variety of breadbasket items, educational institutions, daycare, after school, retirement, medical, and disabled facilities, religious institutions, charitable organizations and the sale or rental of a dwelling not part of a hotel complex would be exempt.
Games of chance, gambling and lotteries would also be exempt.
While the government has drafted over 160 pages of legislation and regulations, there are still a few things that have yet to be set in stone.
For example, the regulations propose a threshold for VAT being applied to electricity and water bills for commercial consumers.
This means that if a business consumes less than a certain amount of electricity per month to be determined by the government, it would pay no VAT; everything exceeding that as yet undetermined level would be subject to VAT.
The same is being proposed for businesses that consume public water.
While the draft legislation does not propose to impose VAT on these services for residential consumers, The Guardian understands that the prime minister will soon decide whether this will change, bearing in mind his party's pledge to lower the cost of electricity.
The government has also not decided on what the threshold will be for professional services to become VAT registrants.
The Guardian understands that currently the government is considering $100,000 or $150,000 as the threshold at which VAT will apply to those services.
The legislation also exempts professional services that are conducted for people who are not in The Bahamas in many instances.
Domestic transportation by land or water, other than in connection with a tour, would also be exempt.
VAT registrants who will be required to impose the new tax on retail transactions will be those businesses whose revenue exceeds $100,000 per year.
The VAT legislation and regulations are quite detailed and complex, but there are many areas that are quite straightforward.
What will you pay more for?
Expect financial transactions to impact your bottom line.
Financial services and transactions are not exempt from VAT if they levy a fee.
This includes, short-term insurance contracts; legal, accounting, record packaging services, and tax agency services, including advisory services; the provision of insurance, other than life or medical insurance; safe custody for money or documents; brokerage services; debt collection or factoring services and trustee services.
Also taxable would be the transmission of money or monetary value in any form; the issuance, sale or redemption of money orders or traveler's checks; check cashing; currency exchange issuance, sale or redemption of money orders and traveler's checks and currency exchange and pay day advances.
Loans to consolidate finances from bank to bank will be subject to VAT if the repayment terms are in installments.
However, financial services provided to a person treated as a non-resident for purposes of the Exchange Control Regulations are exempt.
Accounting and record packaging services rendered to these institutions would also be exempt.
What won't cost more
Many basic food items will be exempt from VAT.
Beef, chicken, pork, sheep meat, horse meat, smoked meat, dried meat, salted meat, sausage, sandwich meat, corned beef and fish will be exempt.
Fresh milk, milk products, concentrated and evaporated milk, cream, cheese, dairy spreads and butter will also be exempt.
VAT will not apply to fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit.
Rice, fonio, quinoa, triticale, flour, cereal, cereal grains, cereal groats (like oat, wheat, barley and rye), meal and pellets will be exempt.
Soybean oil, ground nut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, castor oil, other oils used for cooking and vegetable fats will also be exempt.
Margarine, imitation lard and shortening will be exempt.
Cane sugar, beet sugar and white sugar will be exempt.
VAT will not apply to bread, noodles, couscous, bulger wheat or foods for infant use.
Mustard and mayonnaise, soups and broth will also be exempt.
Mineral water for infant use will have no VAT applied to it.
Laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, soaps and domestic utility goods will also be exempt.
Licenses issued by the government will be exempt from VAT as well.
Government agencies, ministries, departments, statutory bodies, local government councils, or other government entities that provide services that are usually taxable will be exempt from VAT if the services are of a nominal amount or they are not intended to recover the cost of those goods and services.
The Ministry of Finance will begin a series of intensive VAT workshops for the public starting tomorrow, Financial Secretary John Rolle said recently.
The workshops will come amid criticism over the proposed implementation date and questions about its impact.
The government has said VAT is necessary to bring down the government's massive deficit and get the country's spiraling debt situation under control.
Ministry of Finance officials estimate that VAT can generate about $200 million in annual revenue.Professions subject to VAT under draft bill1. Accountants
2. Actuaries
3. Acupuncturists
4. Advisors
5. Advocates
6. Aestheticians
7. Appraisers
8. Architects
9. Athletes
10. Athletic Trainers
11. Auctioneers
12. Audiologist
13. Barbers
14. Beauticians
16. Chiropractors
17. Consultants
18. Contractors
19. Cosmetologists
20. Counsellors
21. Custodial engineers
22. Custom brokers
23. Dental Assistants
24. Dental Hygienists
25. Dentist
26. Dieticians
27. Electricians
28. Electrologist
29. Embalmers
30. Engineers
31. Entertainers
32. Financial Analysts
33. Foresters
34. Funeral Practitioners
35. Geologists
36. Hair Dressers
37. Hairdressers
38. Health Care Providers
39. Home Repair Service Providers
40. Interior Designers
41. Interpreters
42. Land Sales Developer
43. Landscape Architecture
44. Lawyers
45. Librarians
46. Massage therapists
47. Mechanics
48. Naturopathic Doctors
49. Nurse Practitioners
50. Nurses
51. Nursing Home Administrators
52. Occupational therapists
53. Occupational therapy Assistants
54. Optometrists
55. Orthodontist
56. Osteopath
57. Painters
58. Pharmacists
59. Physical Therapists
60. Physicians
61. Physicians (MD)
62. Pilots
63. Plumbers
64. Podiatrist
65. Professional fundraisers
66. Professional Planner
67. Professors
68. Promoters
69. Psychologists
70. Radiologic technicians
71. Real Estate Appraisers
72. Real Estate Professionals
73. Respiratory Care Practitioners
74. Salesmen
75. Scientists
76. Social Workers
77. Speech-Language Pathologists
78. Stock Brokers
79. Surveyors
80. Teachers
81. Technicians
82. Timeshare Developers
83. Timeshare Sales Agent
84. Transient Sellers
85. Translators
86. Veterinarians
87. Such other professions that the minister may add

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Business Listing

A Flair For Hair Beauty Salon Nail Centre & Barber
Barber Shops,Beauty Salons
  • Circle Palm Mall
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Barber Shops,Beauty Salons,Spas
  • Corner Market St. & Wulff Rd.
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Cliffie's Barber & Beauty Salon
Barber Shops,Beauty Salons
  • 16 Market St
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Unique Cuts & Designs Unisex Salon
Barber Shops,Beauty Salons
  • Nassau Int'nl Bazaar Bay St
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Windermere Day Spa And Salon
Beauty Salons,Hair & Beauty Supplies,Spas
  • Caves Village Shopping Centre, West Bay & Blake Road
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
A dwindling society

When Sister Marva Coakley devoted herself to religious life in 1977, her Benedictine religious order had 22 sisters, and there were two convents in Nassau -- Saint Martin (which is now Saint Martin Monastery) and the Sisters of Charity. Today the Sisters of Charity Convent is no more and the number of sisters at Saint Martin has dwindled to 11 Bahamians and one foreigner.
As the numbers dwindled, the ages soared. The youngest Bahamian nun is Sister Marva who is now 57. Sister Vernice Wilson at 82 is the oldest. A 32-year-old Filipino who transferred from the Philippines is the youngest nun in the convent, but she is not Bahamian.
In the United States the count has fallen from about 180,000 in 1965 to 55,000 last year, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
The number of nuns and sisters plunged through the years as more career opportunities for women opened and sisterhood became less viable. Generally, a nun lives a cloistered, contemplative life in a monastery while sisters live and work within their communities.
In the United States and Canada, convents and monasteries aren't leaving the future of their orders to prayer and chance, and have turned to the Internet and social media to attract women who feel the calling to serve God and their community.
Like monasteries and convents around the world, Saint Martin Convent is facing challenges attracting youthful Bahamian women to the order and have resorted to different methods as opposed to word of mouth to try to attract women.
Recently, an advertisement in The Nassau Guardian read "Do you want to become a nun and do the Lord's work? If interested contact Saint Martin Convent at 323-5517 or 323-5466". The advertisement was sponsored by a friend of the sisters.

The challenges
"We are most certainly facing the same challenges as convents the world over," said Sister Marva Coakley, the director of vocation at Saint Martin Monastery. "The population is aging. The majority of the sisters are in their 70s with the youngest at 32, and she's not a Bahamian."
The urgency of the situation was even addressed by Pope Benedict on World Day of Prayer in April, as he urged young people to recognize that they are a gift to the church and not sell themselves short. The pope hoped young people would recognize there is a need for nuns and that they have something to give, that they should give themselves up for the love of God, and give themselves up unselfishly so that other people may live.
As vocation director, Sister Marva tries to recruit by going into the churches and holding seminars to inform people about religious life. Opportunities are also provided for people to get a chance to see what the sisters do and to meet them. Saint Martin Monastery currently has a come-and-see program at least twice yearly. An exhibition of the sisters at work is set up for viewing and people are invited to experience evening vespers (prayers). Afterwards they are invited to partake in a social, with goodies baked by the sisters. It also gives people the opportunity to ask questions and experience the silence of the convent and the calmness of the sisters' lives.
Sister Marva, who grew up on Harbour Island and is the principal of St. Bede's Primary School, said it was that calmness of life that attracted her to the convent. She said she had a yearning, and she wanted to teach.
"On Harbour Island, there were only white sisters (Sisters of Charity). I liked how the sisters carried themselves and the things they did for other people in the community, and I wanted to do something like that. Going to Aquinas, I met another group of sisters (Dominican nuns), but they were all doing the same things, and they had that quietness about them that I liked," she said.
But she believes the technological advances of the world and the opportunities that now exist have pulled women away from the sisterhood. In the 60s and 70s when she showed an interest in the religious order, she was required to complete high school and work at least one year. But today she said things are simply not the same.
She also said while the life has stipulations and a lot of discipline, they are not missing what most people think they are -- freedom. She said everything the sisters have is in common and they all go to prayers three times per day -- at 6:30 a.m. at noon and at 5:15 p.m. After evening prayers they do not go "gallivanting". They go to dinner and those who have evening meetings attend them and then return home.
"The misconception is what they think they will be missing, and they think they will be missing freedom. But, you have your freedom," she said. "When I decided to go into the convent I knew there were going to be rules and

­regulations and that everyone would not be doing their own thing, but we do have something to say about what we do, and we are out to do our tasks, which is our ministry. "
Sister Clare Rolle works with the Samaritan Ministry; Sister Annie Thompson, Sister Agnes Johnson and Sister Janice Coakley bake the cookies and tarts the monastery is famous for; Sister Ena Albury works at the hospital and does visiting; Sister Cecilia Albury takes care of the elderly at St. Joseph's Daycare Center; Sister Mary Benedict is the retired superintendent of Catholic Schools, but serves as the monastery's prioress (mother superior); Sister Agatha Hunt is retired and most times can be found in the chapel in quiet prayer to make sure her sisters all stay safe.

The vows

As a member of the order, they all take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
"Our community is a group of women seeking a deeper awareness of God's presence in our lives and in our community. Everyone works hand in hand, sharing meals, prayer, work and conversion," she said.
And she said all of their needs are being met. She can go to the hairdresser, she can purchase shoes and clothes or anything she wants because they all get an equal allowance -- no matter what job they hold. But if they have a special need they can make a request of their superior.
"We are our own women and we do our own thing. I manage my own money and if we want something special we can save up for whatever we want," she said. "None of our nuns step out looking shabby. We all look good."
If young women have a drawing on their heart or soul to religious order in joining the sisterhood, Sister Marva said they have to have finished high school and worked at least a year. Training is done right at Saint Martin Monastery.
Sister Marva has celebrated 25 years in the monastery and she said she has no regrets. She said over the years some people tried the monastic life but did not stay. Even though they did not, she said she respected them for it.
"I prefer them to leave even though they may have had years of training at the expense of the convent. I prefer them to leave rather than to be miserable there, because it's not a jail, nor is it a house of refuge. It's freedom," she said.
Prospective sisters she said should have a love of God and others, and an openness to be spirit-led and having an interest in serving the church.
There motto is Ora et Laboura, which Sister Marva said means to work and pray.
Saint Martin Monastery will celebrate 75 years in October as a religious community. Sister Marva said God has brought them this far and their fate will depend on what He has planned for them.
"As much as we think we have control, and are doing all we think we can do, God is still in control," she said.
While her counterparts around the world are making use of technology to reach young women, Sister Marva said she desires to use technology more in fostering vocation, but she said it has been a challenge for her. It's her goal to have the monastery's lay group members (women and men) who have the expertise assist her in using the media. There are approximately 50 lay members. They do the same things that the sisters do except the lay members live with their families.

About the sisters
Our way of life is not restricted to any one ministry. The Rule of Benedict affirms both manual and intellectual work as essential to a balanced life. Our small community of members are educators, administrators, pastoral workers, healthcare givers, homemakers, mentors and spiritual guiders.

On October 3, 1937, a new possibility opened up for young Catholic women in The Bahamas when three local young women of New Providence answered the call to enter religious life.
The women were formed and guided by the Sisters of Charity from Mount St. Vincent, New York and the Benedictine priests from St. John's Abbey in Minnesota.
In 1962, the Sisters of St. Martin joined the Benedictine Community of St. Benedict's Convent of St. Joseph, Minnesota. They became a part of a great monastic community with a tradition that dates its origin to the sixth century following the rule and customs of its founder, St. Benedict and his twin sister Scholastica, in the Caves of Subiaco, Italy. It became an independent monastery in 1994.

The Benedictine Sisters of St. Martin Monastery are a monastic community of women, seeking to follow Christ through a vowed life of stability, fidelity to the monastic way of life and obedience. We strive to be rooted in Jesus Christ, our Benedictine heritage and the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.

Mission statement
The grace of preferring nothing to Christ impels them to contemplate and hear God's call, evident in the needs of the local church and the world. Inspired and formed by the Gospel, the rule of Benedict and the Benedictine tradition, they offer hope and ministry freely as our gifts and vows allow.

The Sisters
Sister Mary Benedict Pratt, OSB -- Prioress
Sister Jacintha Neely, OSB
Sister Mary Josephine Albury, OSB
Sister Marva Coakley, OSB
Sister Clare Rolle, OSB - director of the Samaritan Ministry
Sister Cecilia Albury, OSB
Sister Vernice Wilson, OSB
Sister Agatha Hunt, OSB
Sister Ena Albury, OSB
Sister Janis Coakley, OSB
Sister Annie Thompson, OSB

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Business Listing

Beyon Hair & Beauty Supplies
Beauty Salons,Hair & Beauty Supplies
  • East Street South after Miden's Wholesale Across from Spotless Cleaners
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Paul's Barber Shop & Beauty Supplies
Barber Shops,Beauty Salons,Hair & Beauty Supplies
  • Patton St
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas