May 28, 2010

Edward Harris At Large!


We are approaching the final month in the second quarter of 2010 and the question is – has the economy begun to show signs of improvement? Depending on the industry the answer will vary. The hospitality sector has definitely performed well in the past six months. What will the summer months be like? At least business from cruise ships will decrease substantially and that is expected. However, increase in airlift should assist with improved numbers in the tourism sector.

There is need for greater planning in the MSME sector. Our vendors should seek out opportunities to provide products to meet the seasonal demand of their customers and wherever possible relocate to position themselves in a location that will give them access to potential customers.

Several years ago, I made the statement that the only authentic local industry is the craft industry. Like agriculture the absence of real Entrepreneurship in this sector is lacking. Entrepreneurs need to take a serious look at these two sectors. Government should provide incentives for investments in the sectors. Example – for every dollar invested by an established business in an approved industry/farm, a substantial premium on the amount invested should be offered as a tax credit.

Maybe, it is time for the Government to plan to declare 2011 “the year of Developmental Incentives.” Incentives drive investment. When there is investment, jobs are created. Most people seem to agree that poverty is the major cause of crime. It seems to me that in fighting crime, the priority should be to create an environment that will seek to offer a better alternative for the young people. Social, cultural and economic activities must be expanded and a competitive spirit should be encouraged. Theatre productions should be encouraged across the nation. The shows should be televised so that the entire country could be engaged and challenged. We need to do things on a grander scale.

In recent times, I have noticed that sponsorships have stepped up. A few banks have stepped up to the table. Some innovative programmes need to be introduced to deal with social issues and human development. Bishop T. D. Jakes presented two great motivational lectures. The message that he left the nation is “I shall arise!” Regardless of your low esteem and state in life, you have the power to change your circumstances. Can criminals be transformed? Yes – they can! However, a one time message will not do it. Can his exhortations be televised for the general audience as was done with the SECRET? There is need for continuity. Let us put our local motivational speakers to work and get a Message of Hope to our young people. Let us get down to the root cause of the HOPELESSNESS that exists in our society. Who will be the driver to mobilize a group of speakers and launch a series of Life Changing lectures across the nation? I am ready to volunteer to be a member of the group.

Everyone who is blessed with a special skill should share it. We need to generate some excitement in the country. In spite of the difficult economic times, some people are finding creative ways to survive and in some cases do well. We must find a way to get the full impact from those businesses that are doing well. Can the business be duplicated? There are quite a few businesses that can sustain three branches – Castries, Soufriere and Vieux Fort. Gros Islet could also be included as a fourth location.

The time has come for us to be more scientific in our projections. Most undertakings in the USA are guided by polls/surveys to test the pulse of the people. What other businesses or services are needed in your community? There are needs in every community that are not met at great inconvenience to residents. Surveys can identify opportunities. The opportunities can create many new jobs.

There is an opportunity for you to participate in the programmes of HWTV soon to be launched. If you have ideas and want to actively participate in its programmes, feel free to contact the Programme Director – Email – You can also provide video recordings of events to be shown on the station. This is another opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise with the nation.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge and expect Daily Miracles!

Edward Harris
Biblicist, Freelance Journalist, Realtor, Business & PR Consultant
Websites: St. Lucia – Agent ECREDMC

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