Business As Usual!!!

November 15, 2006

Edward Harris At Large

St. Lucia is now fully in Election mode and the politicians are making their rounds with zone meetings and rallies which are all well attended as the battle goes on to secure a majority for their party in parliament on Election Day. What is interesting is that the political activities have not distracted the private sector from getting on with their businesses. In many countries at election time businesses almost come to a halt, most businesspersons awaiting the outcome but it is not so in St. Lucia. It is business as usual.

Section 361 has been repealed, and the Labour Code is now law. However, it is the latter that will be discussed for sometime as Employers and Employees seek to get acquainted with the implications of the Law. There seems to be something in the Labour Code for everyone but the employers seem to be most concerned about the cost of implementation. What is very clear over the years of the SLP Government is the fact that they respond to effective lobbying and given the time frame for the final debate and enactment of the Labour Code, there must be room for further discussion and amendments where necessary. In the final analysis, the Government must be concerned about the impact of the Code on the employment situation in the country.

There is no doubt that in recent months, the employment figures have improved in the country and it is likely that the level of unemployment will continue to decline as the services sector expands in the next three months. The challenge now is to sustain the opportunities within the services sector and expand into the other traditional areas like agriculture and manufacturing. The time to ensure sustainable levels of tourists’ arrivals to keep the additional rooms occupied is now. The Internet Gurus should be at work to establish St. Lucia as the greatest destination in the Caribbean and one of the must visit places on planet earth. We must utilize the Internet to it fullest potential to battle for the hearts and minds of tourists around the world. We need to be talking a lot about promoting St. Lucia at this time as a unique destination or business and pleasure. We need to capture email addresses and establish mailing lists that will keep St. Lucia on the front burner when individuals and Entrepreneurs are making vacation and investment decisions.

It is not easy to identify unique investments these days but I have been looking at Vacation Package Promotions that will attract visitors to our island with special emphasis on small properties and B& Bs. With the additional room stock on island, there are opportunities to target all types of holiday makers. It was good news to learn that Bay Gardens Inn recently received the Virgin Holidays 2006 Gold Award for the Best Small Hotel in the Caribbean. That is fantastic and all St. Lucians should be proud of their achievement. Congratulations to the General Manager – Ms. Waltrude Patrick and her staff!!!

On Thursday, October 9, 2006 with the support of the St. Lucia Coalition of Service Industries, the Real Estate Agents got together in the Conference Room of the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation to plan a strategy for resuscitating the National Association of Realtors St. Lucia Ltd. Approximately 35 Realtors and persons involved in related areas of activity attended the meeting which was chaired by Mrs. Karleen Greenidge who emphasized the need for Realtors to get together, especially at this time when the competition is expanding from beyond our shores. Mrs. Althea Shingleton-Smith promised the support of the Coalition in ensuring that the Association is given all the necessary assistance to get back on its feet. Sixteen (16) Realtors volunteered to serve on the Steering Committee. In the meantime, a follow up meeting is being planned for Thursday, December 7, 2006. The venue and time will be announced shortly.

As usual here is my Internet discovery of the week. You can have a website for as low as US$39.95 per month for 12 months, fully maintained by the company. There is a further advantage that the company will optimize the visibility of the site at an extra cost. Check out this offer at

I do hope you took advantage of securing your copy of the classic “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. If you haven’t, here is another opportunity, visit

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge!

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