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Invest TCI Hosted Successful MSME Roadshow

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#TurksandCaicos, April 15, 2022 – Under the theme, “It’s Your Time!” Invest Turks and Caicos Agency (Invest TCI) hosted a five-island Roadshow to educate the public on the opportunities available to entrepreneurs and small businesses through the Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) Programme.

Commencing on March 16th, The MSME Roadshow 2022 kicked off on Salt Cay and Grand Turk, followed by South Caicos on March 18th, North Caicos and Middle Caicos on March 22nd, and concluded on the island of Providenciales on April 5th. The roadshow provided an opportunity for persons to come out and hear directly from Invest TCI and learn about the various benefits and assistance available to them, the priority areas that qualify, eligibility requirements, and the application process. The MSME Roadshow 2022 also allowed the Agency to shed light on the progress of the programme and address misconceptions. It allowed attendees to ask questions and express concerns regarding the programme.

The roadshow saw approximately 200 attendees from the various islands and allowed over 10 businesses to showcase their products and services. The attendees were very engaged during the sessions, asking many questions and providing feedback and recommendations for improving the programme, which the Invest TCI team was most appreciative of.

Commenting on the roadshow, the Acting VP of SME Development, Anissa Adderley, stated, “One of the highlights from the roadshow was being able to experience the amazing talents of our small businesses. Several manufacturers showcased their products, and it was great to see the level of talent we have here in the country. I am pleased to know that Invest TCI provides a platform for these entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses.” Adderley further stated that she is passionate about supporting small businesses and welcome interested persons to learn more about the MSME Programme, its benefits, and how to access those benefits. Additionally, having the Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, the Honourable E.Jay Saunders, attend the Providenciales event to hear from and speak directly to persons on the programme was a bonus.

Commenting on the event, Acting CEO of Invest TCI, Angela Musgrove, stated, “We would like to express our gratitude to all persons who came out and supported The MSME Roadshow 2022. We were extremely pleased to see so many persons taking advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the MSME Programme and display their businesses. Musgrove further stated, “The MSME Programme has not been without its challenges. However, the Programme is experiencing significant growth and has distributed over 2.8 million in cash grants, technical assistance, and duty concessions since inception. In this financial year alone, the programme has approved over 40 applications, with total disbursements of approximately $797,000. The future of the programme is very positive as we thrive to create sustainable growth and partnerships for small businesses.

Caribbean News

Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.

MIUS ANDRE, a mason by trade from Blue Hills, Providenciales, was charged with the offences, following advice received through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.

Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.

Two female minors -ages six and seven-  died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Press Release: RTCIPF

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Bahamas News

Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas

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February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7.  The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration.  This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).

Present at the ceremony were:  The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant.  He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.

In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF.  It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.”  He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM.  Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.

The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion.  Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.

He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill.  Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.

It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade.  The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”

For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.

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Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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