May 23, 2012 

Harris At Large!


The St. Lucia Employers’ Federation hosted a workshop – “A Practical Guide on using Quick Books Accounting Software to Handle VAT” in the South of the island at Juliette’s Lodge, Vieux Fort on 22nd May, 2012, followed by another in the North on 23rd May, 2012. The SLEF must be congratulated for hosting the Workshop first in the South and then in the North. Is this recognition of things to come? The response was great with 32 participants in the South and 44 in the North. Representatives from the manufacturing, retail, services and tourism sectors including a Funeral Home participated fully in the exercise.

Entrepreneurs in the South of the island are anxious to get on with business and are seeking to prepare themselves to deal with the changing environment. The workshop was not concluded when the participants were calling for the VAT Team to visit the South. Mr. Joseph Alexander, Executive Director of SLEF promised to make a request for their visit at the earliest opportunity.

The facilitator for the workshop was Mr. Cuthbert John, who has worked with many OECS governments and private sector organisations on the introduction of VAT. He shared his experiences with participants and gave practical demonstration in the use of Quiick Books Accounting Software. I believe that those business persons who missed the two workshops should be given an opportunity to be exposed to the valuable information that was shared.

Mr. Alexander urged participants whose companies were not yet members of SLEF to join the association as the next few months are going to be very challenging for business persons as they seek to grapple with the realities of a Labour Code in August and VAT in September, 2012. This is going to be hectic. The question that came up throughout the workshopp was – what assistance will be provided by the Government to businesses in preparing for VAT implementation.

In the coming months, it can be expected to be a consumers’ market as retailers rush to reduce stocks. SALES signs will be appearing everywhere. There can be some real deals if you shop around. One thing is certain some items will be cheaper while some will get more expensive. However, it is important to note that there are some real opportunities for new entrants into business and for them to hold their own.

Are you thinking about getting into business? Do your research now. Read my book “You can be a successful business person”. Get your free copy by sending an email to me at with BOOK in the subject line. This is the perfect timing to cash in on an idea I referred to over the years in my column. Visit my archive at and catch up on some of the opportunities I discussed.

I am really excited about the prospects of the South, especially as I intereact with some of the business persons. I hasten to repeat a call that I made in an earlier article since I returned to reside in the South. I encouraged persons interested in investing in the South to make their move now. Well developed properties are going between EC$12.00 and 16.00 per square foot. Commercial buildings and warehouses are still very attractively price. Make your move now before prices begin to move upward.

I am very reluctant to travel to Castries these days but I am definitely looking forward to the EXPO 2012 Exhibition at Union this weekend which is promoting Export Ready Companies. I will give you my take on it in my next article. The OPSR is the excuting organisation for the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TIPA) and is coordinating the exhibition.

Here is my motivational piece of the week:


The realities of life result from many outside factors, none of which you can control.

    Your attitude, however, reflects the way in which you evaluate what’s happening to you.

   It is not your situation, it’s your reaction to the situation that’s important.

   Things always seem to turn out best for those people who can make the best out of the way things turn out.

   Life at any time can become difficult.  Life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how you adjust yourself to life. 

   You cannot always control your circumstances.  But you can always think positive thoughts.

   There is nothing either good or bad, only your thinking makes it so.

© 2012 

Remember always to Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Dream Big and expect Daily Miracles! 

Edward Harris

Freelance Journalist, Realtor, Business & PR Consultant


Websites:  St. Lucia – Agent ECREDMC

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