January 31, 2007



The Banks are becoming more creative by adopting first world packages such as Debit Cards, Deferred Credit, Competitive Rates, etc., all in the interest of consumers, especially those who are investment savvy. St. Lucia seems to have moved away from being a Lesser Developed Country, definitely developing and in some instances making some first world steps. Towards the end of 2006, the Bank of St. Lucia and its Associate Companies within the Group sponsored AutoMax 2006, Vehicle Loan Sale which was well received by the public. I thought it was a good opportunity and I told a friend who had discussed with me his interest in purchasing a van for his business. He visited the Show and successfully concluded a deal with one of the participating companies. Last weekend First Caribbean International Bank held a Home Finance Expo, financing mortgages and all related products and services as was done at AutoMax 2006. Both Shows were held at the Samaans Park on the Castries-Gros Islet Highway.

Local consumers are now treated as first world citizens with 100% financing packages for essential assets that will ensure a better quality of life. Unlike a lot of people, I do not speak about the down side of these developments but rather on an optimistic note, I seek solutions. About two years ago writing in one of my columns I alluded to the fact that the time had come for St. Lucians to take on a second job. As we get more and more in debt, essential debt avenues for additional income must be sought. Working spouses will have to cooperate fully with each other so as to make ends meet.

We need to look into home based businesses/part time employment to compliment existing wages/salaries. I know of cases where this is already happening but not at the level at which it should be. In the last quarter of 2007 and I dedicated a lot of my articles to writing on Innovation and Technology. I have drew attention to Internet Marketing Opportunities, and a few days ago, I launched the $$$MONEY MAGIC$$$ Newsletter which will be published every Monday, providing the latest information on IT Network Marketing businesses that are applicable to St. Lucia. You can request a copy of this Newsletter by sending an email to with the word – Newsletter in the subject line. That’s all and it is FREE!

Today, Stress is definitely a part of everyday living as it has long been in the developed countries. Fortunately, we are conscious of the Stress Factor and have knowledge about how to deal with it so as to prevent premature hypertension and diabetes. We must do everything possible to avoid negative Stress as the implications are devastating and can take away from the joy of living.

A few weeks ago, I called for extended opening hours and the introduction of weekend shopping to capture the window of opportunity that exists for us to capitalize on the reputation that St. Lucia has for reasonably priced products offered by the several businesses in Castries. I have learnt that the Goods Free Zone in Vieux Fort has opened up almost 50,000 sqft of space offering a variety of consumer products including food, beverages and household items. Opportunities for generating additional employment from existing businesses must not be ignored.

This year I promise to do a number of interviews with the Entrepreneurs in our midst who are making a difference. We cannot continue doing the same things which are not working for us and expect different results. I am hoping to identify a Sponsor for a Business Show on television so that successful Entrepreneurs could share their experiences with existing and potential businesspersons. It will take more than perspiration, success will need role models and motivation as well. We have to do more to encourage Entrepreneurship in our country. Education and information are key ingredients in ensuring success in this regards.

I continue to stay in tune with the developments of CWC 2007 as the debate continues about our readiness, generally there should be agreement that it is not only the cricket facilities at Beausejour, Gros Islet, it is much more. Dialogue is important as through this process, the decision makers will be challenged. It is my view that the CWC 2007 exposure will be worth it all as the major legacy benefit will be improving St. Lucia’s fortunes as a tourist destination. We have a lot going for us as St. Lucia is the number one Honeymoon Destination in the world. The World Bank Report 2006 on Ease of Doing Business rated St. Lucia #27 in the world. These outstanding accolades add value to St. Lucia being recommended as an ideal destination for business, pleasure and retirement. The future holds a lot of excitement as St. Lucia takes advantage of the opportunities that are available to it at this juncture. CWC 2007 St. Lucia leg will be reality, let us put our hearts, mind and energies to make it the success we all will like it to be, even beyond our expectation.

The Realtors Association will hold its 1st General Membership Meeting since the Steering Committee was formed on December7, 2006. It will be hosted at the Spinners Entertainment and Conference Centre at Union, Castries at 4.00pm on Saturday, February 3, 2007 and the St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association will host a Retreat for members of its Board of Directors in Vieux Fort on Sunday, 4th February, 2007.

Here is my Internet Marketing pick of the week: Learn from the Master himself.

Keep the Faith, God is in charge, Expect Miracles in 2007!!!

Edward Harris at Email:

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