August 30, 2007



Amidst the general anxieties and uncertainties of everyday life in today’s St. Lucia there are too many obstacles in the way of progress. Or is this the price we must pay for progress? The road development that is currently being undertaken is a nightmare. Could anyone calculate the loss of man hours as a result of the traffic congestion that has been the daily routine for almost a year?

Who would have imagined such chaos? Have we bitten off more than we can chew? I am finding it difficult to see the real value of the road improvement. Those of us who attended the various briefing sessions prior to the commencement of construction must be totally dissatisfied with the state of affairs as they are today. Up to now I cannot understand if we are going to end up with a one, two, three or four lane highway. We just have to wait and see. The MEDIAN thing, the thing in the middle is a vexation to my spirit when it takes me twice the time to get to my destination. Gas consumption will increase. When will the construction works really end? It is said no pain, no gain but the pain is becoming unbearable.

There are too many hassles affecting our already complicated lives. I wonder if all this is not affecting businesses, especially the frustrations of getting to and from work. Some drivers are already suffering from road rage as is evidenced many times on the roads when drivers simply burst through the traffic hoping that nothing will be in their way. Then there is the quality of roads being built. The East Coast Highway with its heavy traffic as a result of major construction works is going to wear very fast. Roads works will continue to be a major expense in the years ahead.

As if the road blues are not enough. Have you tried transacting business in a bank recently? In an attempt to woo customers a few years ago, banks offered payroll services and most employers embraced it. So now employees get time off to go down to the banks to collect their salaries and wages. This was very convenient as it reduced the risk of large amounts of cash being on companies’ premises. That went well for a time but with the construction boom it all went up in smoke. Transacting business at a Bank has become nothing but a hassle. Corporate clients must be accommodated outside of the normal lines and old people must get a dedicated line as the current situation will cause many to die from frustration that will cause further stress and increase the level of their hypertension. Where there is provision for old people, the facility is being extended to others like uniformed personnel, pregnant mothers, etc. Grey hair retirees bending on a stick must be given priority. To improve the service to aging citizens the dedicated line must be supervised and when grey headed old people approach the line, they must be upgraded, not simply join the line. Every bank must have a dedicated line for old people and handicapped. I will qualify for both. I do have a self interest in all this but I believe someone has to make the case. I am forced to make this point after visiting the bank three times in two days to effect change of signatures for an organization. I had to be first at the bank door upon opening on the second day. That did take getting out of bed much earlier than my normal time.

While we have to cope with making ends meet and the hassles of using the highways and sorting out our few pennies in the banks, stress is eating away at us. We are quite aware of the health issues affecting us in St. Lucia and it all has to do with our eating habits but no businessperson is making an attempt to tap into that market. Could some unemployed persons prepare salads and distribute to offices? That could be a big small business for many operating from their homes. There should be a law that every restaurant carries a salad bar. The health of our people must be given some priority.

I know my readers expect me to write on the SLISBA issue which is being publicized in the media. I am sorry to disappoint you. All I wish to note is that SLISBA had a great month of activities which was well supported. The organization has achieved a level of success that its leadership is worth fighting for. Make sure you get your RAFFLE TICKETS from members as the 25 prizes are very attractive. The curtain comes down on SLISBA’s month of activities this weekend with the hosting of SMALL BUSINESS EXPO – 2007 at the City Hall, Castries. Opening hours are from 10.00am to 6.00pm. Admission is free!

I will be hosting effective 3/9/07 “THE SMALL BUSINESS HOUR” every Monday evening at 8.00pm on Channel 36 with a replay on Saturday evening. Be sure to view this show as I interview small businesspersons so that you can learn from their successes and mistakes.

Keep the faith, God is in charge and do expect Miracles in 2007!

Edward Harris

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.