A real Barbadian international business success story: Automotive Art promotes training in Barbados to attract new USA business!

Automotive Art Barbados training

Need an automotive paint system in the USA? Come to Barbados for training… in January.

Our own Bajan automotive paint supplier is leveraging their Barbados training centre to sell product throughout the USA. I love it!

by Robert

Please pardon me while I reminisce for a bit…

A long time ago my father advised that if I wanted to become a professional pilot as he was, I should first become a certified aircraft mechanic. (Certain folks will cringe at the word “mechanic” and want the word changed to “technician” or “maintenance engineer” depending if they live in America or Europe. Noted, but I’m old school and will continue to say “mechanic”. I also hold DC-3 & 727 type-ratings – master certifying mechanic and command pilot -, so put that in your tonic and gin too.)

My father knew that pilots come and go according to the ups and downs of the airline industry, and that a medical down-check can leave a professional pilot begging in the streets. He wanted me to have a valuable skill to fall back on, and I’m grateful I listened to him. My career as a professional pilot lasted only 7 years, and I made little money compared with my 20 years crawling on my back underneath aircraft with rivet gun or wrench in hand.

My father also told me that there was nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.

Young men should pay careful attention to that statement because it is true: There is nothing quicker and easier than a new coat of paint to increase the value of a used aircraft, boat or car.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Technology, Uncategorized

Newly revealed report details Harlequin Resorts due diligence disaster

Dave Ames Harlequin Ponzi

If you can’t see fraud and Ponzi schemes here… you aren’t looking!

According to a due diligence chart posted online, Harlequin Resorts’ The Merricks development in Barbados did not file financial accounts for seven years between 2006 and 2013.

During that same period The Merricks took in £47,946,581 in payments from victims ‘investors’ but only spent £7,971,246 for land and construction costs.

That leaves £39,975,335 outstanding, or… a better way would put it: that leaves £39,975,335 MISSING.

How many Ministers of Government received ‘campaign donations’ from Harlequin during this period? How did our government protect investors and Barbados’ reputation during this period?

Why did the Barbados government allow this to happen? Seven years without required filings and Barbados politicians were content to line up for photographs with Harlequin’s David Ames? What the heck were they thinking?

Or… were our politicians simply delivering the service that they had been paid to deliver? With no Integrity Legislation and no Freedom of Information laws, Bajans will likely never be able to prove who the villains are.

The Harlequin Resorts chart is nothing more or less than a confirmation that Harlequin was and is nothing more or less than a gigantic Ponzi scheme.

More and more the questions are shifting from Harlequin to the UK and Barbados authorities charged with maintaining the law…

The question has become: Why have the authorities not acted to arrest and charge David Ames and his co-conspirators?

Comments are open!

You can download the due diligence report at Barbados Free Press here, or download it from FileTea.

 

 

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption

Barbados government punished 5,000 hotel rooms to reward Sandals’ 280 rooms. Wise tourism strategy or not?

“When you look across the state of our entire tourism industry perhaps the closest comparison can be made with Rome burning while Nero played the fiddle in A.D. 64.”

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

Even if the repeatedly broken promises confirming that all registered hotels will qualify for the same concessions given to Sandals last year came into practical effect this week, it is now far too late for the vast majority of properties to make any meaningful use of them this year, at least in terms of major upgrading.

Whether it was Government’s honest intention or not, Sandals look like they will re-open with an enhanced quality product advantage in late January 2015 that virtually every other hotel cannot hope to compete with.

Again, it’s important to repeat that like most other tourism businesses we welcome the group’s arrival and in the long term hope that it will drive additional investment and upgrading on a level playing field.

Despite the continued speculation about added airlift, it simply will not happen until the Beaches property is hopefully completed in a yet indeterminate number of years from now. The short term reality is that we have lost a potential 25,000 airline seats in the interim reconstruction period.

That would not have happened if the former Casuarina/Couples hotel had remained open.

Only time will tell if punishing around 5,000 rooms, while rewarding just 280 will prove to be a sustainable long term solution to the overall industry challenges.  Continue reading

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Loveridge: Deadly reality strikes the Barbados Tourism Authority, but opportunity awaits!

“Any entity, whether private or public, operating for such a long time without a specific mandate that ensured spending was cost-effective and directly related to a reasonable return on investment is simply unacceptable.” 

Adrian Loveridge - tourism expert, hotel owner

Adrian Loveridge – tourism expert, hotel owner

I have always tried to stay away from the various personalities that have been entrusted to guide our number one foreign currency generator, but it would have been almost impossible not to comment on the remarks accredited to the outgoing Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Industry recently.

If accurately reported, there certainly was some very robust and frankly blunt language used including describing the agency as ‘a slothful, wasteful and inefficient organization in an increasingly dynamic technologically-driven and commercial industry’.

Perhaps, in less colourful words, this has been stated by many in the sector repeatedly over several years, so why is it after more than three years at the helm, only being recognised now?

And if you analyse the figures, why were corrective measures not put into place much earlier?

After assuming the position of Chairman in May 2011 that year only recorded two months of long stay visitor decline.

However, by April 2012 Barbados witnessed a reduction in arrivals for 21 consecutive months. Sadly the release of tourism numbers seem to get later and later each month, with the May 2014 figures taking a staggering 60 days to be posted on the Barbados Statistical Service website. Continue reading

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Will Owen Arthur write his memoirs?

David-Jessop

Who will write our Caribbean history?

By David Jessop

As far as I can determine, few if any of the current group of Caribbean Prime Ministers, or opposition leaders keeps a diary recording events and conversations of importance. Moreover, on demitting office no longer does there appear to be any desire to produce an autobiography or even encourage a biography explaining the detail of their experience in government or in politics. The same holds true for the private sector.

Unlike their counterparts in other parts of the world senior Caribbean figures either do not have the time, or they lack the desire to explain to history what drove them, or the reasons why decisions, domestic, regional, or international were taken or avoided.

It was not always so. Many internationally respected figures in the region’s past, including Michael Manley, Errol Barrow, and Edward Seaga, and some who came before, either wrote about their experience, their philosophy, or to a lesser extent their exchanges with colleagues and regional counterparts; while a small number of others, with or without permission, have published books about regional figures.

Some like the late Tom Adams and a few of the region’s diplomats carefully recorded while in office the events and conversations that changed the region; but almost without exception, these private records have yet to see the light of day.    Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, History, Political Corruption

A Bit of Barbados History: 1855 letter to W.W. Somerville, 69th Regiment of Foot in Barbados

barbados letter 1855 front  (click photo for large)

by Cliverton

There was a time on this rock when governments, both colonial and post-independence, did everything they could to erase every vestige of our origins. It was almost as if some people thought we could progress only if we forgot about the past. What foolishness!

Our government left gorgeous plantation houses and noble public buildings to rot – forgetting (or maybe not forgetting) just who built these structures: slaves and the children of slaves. Not satisfied with destroying historical buildings, they also let the humidity, salt air and rot take care of books, letters and historical objects. The destruction was so long term and widespread that it simply must have been deliberate.

It is true to say that much of Barbados history has faded away irrecoverably – gone forever.

So it is that when I see a tangible bit of Bajan history I get excited, because I know that with a little bit of work on the internet I will discover so much more about this piece of soil where my navel string is buried.

Today’s discovery is offered by Scotia Philately – a letter to Medical Doctor W. W. Somerville of the 69th Regiment in Barbados, West Indies postmarked September 2, 1855 at Plymouth and stamped received in Barbados on September 21, 1855. That’s nineteen days from England to Barbados, a distance of 3504 nautical miles for an average speed of 7.5 knots postal stamp to postal stamp. Meaning that the Royal Mail sailing vessel probably averaged over 10 knots on the journey. Clippers (fast sailing vessels on the mail and opium runs) could easily make 13 or 14 knots and maintain that speed in all but the worst weather.

Who was Doctor Somerville and why was the 69th Regiment of Foot in Barbados? (or “Barbadoes” as it was then called.)
Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, History, Slavery

Afra Raymond on the Invader’s Bay scandal and High Court ruling

afra raymond CMMB

“The entire process possesses all the ingredients for corruption, I maintain that view.”

Our friend Afra Raymond remains a solid asset to disgusted Trinis and the rest of the Caribbean in the fight against corruption by public officials. Trinidad’s Invader’s Bay scandal is representative of the types of corruption that unfortunately permeates the Caribbean, and Afra has been right on top of the story from the first moment. It is probably accurate to say that Afra’s detailed reporting on the story has the government vexed, and influences the government response and strategies.

Power of the press belongs to those who have one – and Afra has one.

Head over to Afra Raymond’s blog for the latest stories about corruption in Trinidad and Tobago.

Afra Raymond: Reality Check

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Filed under Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Trinidad and Tobago