December 6, 2006

Edward Harris At Large


It is very clear that Sundays are used for pleasure and relaxation which in most cases center on business activities, especially in the entertainment sub-sector. We talk a lot about a modern economy but simple actions which are necessary to ensure that we maximize the potential returns from the opportunities that present themselves are lacking. Since many of our citizens are of working age and are employed, the majority of them are unable to do any purchases in our retail stores due to the fact that they are caught up with earning a livelihood between the starting and closing of business hours during Monday to Friday. The time has come to revisit the issue of opening hours and weekend activity in the commercial/retail sector.

As we expand our tourism product, the need for commercial activity to be possible at weekends has become necessary. It will increase employment and generate greater revenue. It will also present an opportunity for training young entrants into the retail sub-sector. The Christmas season is upon us. How about some late shopping up to 8.00pm and let Castries be lit up for our citizens and visitors alike to enjoy the joy of Christmas. I will like to suggest that Christmas music be channeled through the popular shopping areas in Castries. I saw this was done in the Flatbush area in New York and I feel that it would further liven up the city during the festive season.

We have witnessed a gradual advance in extended shopping hours and weekend opening in the Malls. The time has come to expand this facility to the City of Castries. If the Retailers operating within the City are reluctant to open on weekends, it should be interesting to set up a large Flea Market in the William Peter Boulevard. The more business activity we can generate, the more jobs and a stronger economy will result.

There are many things we should be doing at this stage of our development that we are not doing and as a result opportunities are being lost. St. Lucia is poised to be the shopping capital of the OECS, the French islands and Barbados. If we fail to take up the position which is ours for the taking, it will soon pass us by. Sunday shopping is critical to the success of such a status.

Going through my emails, I came across an email from Dave Dee which I share with you hereunder:
“Dave Dee, President
Let me ask you this: Do you attend seminars and conferences that are outside of your profession? Do you have a plan for your own personal development? Unfortunately, many business owners never do this and their results show it!

Jim Rohn says “You need to work harder on yourself than on your job.” And, if you work harder on yourself than you do on your job, the results will naturally show up in your work.

Many of the greatest breakthroughs in your business will come from ideas that you get from outside of your business. We all have a tendency to do what everyone in our own profession is doing. In many cases, this is like the blind leading the blind!

It might be cliché but in order to make great advancements we need to “step outside the box.””

This is my last article before General Elections 2006 and I have been at large, seeking every opportunity to get a feel of what the political buzz is in the country. I have developed some formulae and looked at others shared with me and it is very interesting to note how scientific the pundits can get.

This is my formula taking into consideration the low poll and the political fall out in the opposition ranks on the last occasion. Go through the results of 2001 which can be found at select a value of votes that you feel reflect the current situation, be it 500 or 1,000 or whatever amount you are comfortable with and give that seat to the party that won it in 2001. Any seat that was won below your selected amount of qualifying votes put it in contention. At the end of the exercise you can clearly project a winner. (There are some seats that were won by narrow margins in 2001 but based on historical voting pattern, you may wish to make a judgment call).

Given the mood of the country, regardless of whichever political party wins, the celebratory mood of the people will continue over the holidays and well into to New Year. The year 2006 will be recorded as the best year ever for business, especially in the construction and entertainment sub sectors in St. Lucia, only to be out done in 2007 in the 2nd quarter, primarily due to CWC 2007.

When we meet again through this medium, St. Lucians would have voted and in the process, elected a Government of their choice. It is my sincere wish that voters will turn out to cast their ballot like never before to ensure a majority Government is elected and democracy is well served. It is up to the party activists to get out the vote. I hope you join me in cherishing the memory of our forefathers as we go to the polls on Monday, December 11, 2006

On a final note, I invite you to visit my new website which was developed to share breaking news on Internet marketing opportunities and businesses with you – I would appreciate receiving your feed back.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge!

Edward Harris

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