Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Year in Business


• Transformation to Sandals LaSource– Well-known businessman and hotelier Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, says “it’s a challenge, but we are working together achieving this goal of opening our doors on December 20th, 2013”.

That date is one full year after the original date of expected opening. The delay follows an inspection of the property where it was realised that a full transformation would be needed before any guest could check in. More that EC$70 million is expected to be invested.

•American firm WRB Enterprises Ltd decides to sell off its interest in Grenada Electricity Service Ltd to the same Canadian Firm which recently acquired majority ownership in the Barbados Light & Power Holdings (BLPH). Energy Minister Nazim Burke announced in December 2012 that Emera Inc. and WRB are in discussions.

• Managing Director of BLPH Peter Williams says, “We are committed to supporting GRENLEC in providing an efficient and reliable service to its customers and stabilising electricity rates in the face of the continuing high cost of imported oil.”

The Energy Minister has assured the public that they will be given the opportunity to buy shares in GRENLEC.


• Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc. files an injunction on Grenada Distillers Ltd., the promoter of “Parang Explosion” for the use of its copyright works which belong to its repertoire without the relavant music user permit. The promoter, through its legal counsel, indicated a willingness to settle and by the time the matter comes up in court, the parties were informed that they have reached an “amicable agreement”.

• A Grenadian is appointed to head a regional investment body. Ronald Theodore, Vice President for Marketing and Promotion at the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), is elected to lead the Board of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA).

•Andre Cherman of the Coyaba Beach Resort is elected as the new Chairman of the Grenada Board of Tourism.

• World-renowned animation powerhouse Toon Boom comes to Grenada. Reports indicate that St. George’s University is set to add Computer Animation to its courses.

• Sandra James of Heritage Theatre Company of Grenada calls for greater support for our cultural practitioners. She says they are talented, experienced and have an important role to play in national development.
However, they need greater support from media organisations to bring their art to larger audiences.

• Government pledges support for small, micro businesses. Among support measures highlighted were: Exemption of Annual Stamp Tax on exports of manufactured products, Zero rating of VAT on Exports and Income Tax relief under the Grenada Investment Promotions Act.

• Founder and Managing Director of Neolville Ltd., Denis Noel, calls on the region to invest more in research that would bolster the herbal remedies industry of the Caribbean.

• Ian DaBreo is elected President of the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association. He promises to work vigorously on behalf of all members and to lobby Government for concessions in order to keep the tourism industry from further deteriorating.

• Grenada falls in rankings by 3 points in the International Finance Corporation’s latest Doing Business Report. In response to this, the Government says that it is “in the process of reviewing its Doing Business Reform Aggenda and will continue the process of engaging the key palyers in Civil Society”.

• Scholarships in Computer Engineering, Human Resource Management and Chemistry – among other areas – were awarded to 15 Grenadians who will pursue their studies in Morocco.

• Less Cruise Ships are expected to call at Port St. George and the Cruise Ship Terminal for 2012/2013 season.

• LIAT regional airlines announces the appointment of a new CEO, Captain Ian Brunton. He was previously the CEO of competitor Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL).

• Construction boost. Government hands over 85 acres of land at Hope in St. Andrew for the construction of a campus.

• Oil Major, Rubis West Indies opens its first branded store in Mellville Street, following a decision by Rubis to purchase Texaco operations.

• Controversy erupts as state-sponsored carnival organisers, Spice Mas Corporation, pushes Government for the denial of foreign artistes work permits to perform at a “White in Moonlight” Soca Show, scheduled to occur on the same day as its Panorama Competition. They state that they are asking for promoters of the Soca Show to simply “relocate the show, change the date” and that any reference to the Treaty of Chaguaramus and the provisions of the CSME are not an issue in this situation.

• Poultry prices are on the rise as the Grenada Association of Poultry Producers says there has been four increases in the feed price over the last 15 months. Reports state that if farmers continue to sell the final produce at the current cost, most of them will be forced to cease operations.

• Mrs. Naomi De Allie is appointed new General Manager – Credit, at the Republic Bank (Grenada) Limited.

• “My Grenada – the Spice of Life” mobile application is launched. The Mobile App is a result of a workshop hosted by the Government and BrightPath, an international non-profit organisation.

• Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Mitchell calls for more discussion on casino gambling.

• Executive Director of Caribbean Export, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, urges the private sector to recognise the power they have in lobbying for the change they need to create an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.

• A locally-based villa, one of the properties managed by Grenada Property Management Ltd., is to be featured in an episode of a popular US Cable network which focuses on Home and Gardening.

• Maca Bana joins the list of Grenadian properties to be listed as one of the Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW) – an alliance of luxury hotels and resorts based in London.

• IT professionals for association – The First Open Forum of the recently formed Association of IT Professionals in Grenada (iTAG) took place and it says it aims to improve the education of IT and increase awareness of the importance of IT services.

• Barbados’ former Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch, is hired on a six-month contract to convert the Tourism Board to Authority.

• Impasse comes to an end,  as Grenada Breweries Limited (GBL) workers back on the job after two months. GBL, part of the ANSA McAL group, says that contrary to reports, it will be expanding its operations in Grenada shortly.

• Low-budget Monarch Airlines makes the decision to axe its Grenada route, effective April 2012. It is understood that the reason for doing so is Government’s failure to pay an agreed subsidy to the airline since 2009.

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