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After Thanksgiving, its Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping which this year should see $158 Billion in spending

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

November 25, 2022 – Every year, after a day Thanksgiving holiday,  shops in the US both on line and on the corner slash their prices and residents flock to sites and malls to snatch up all the savings.  This year is no different and though the tradition originated in America, it has spread across the hemisphere with Caribbean businesses picking up the trend as well.

In addition to savings from local store owners, with the advent of online shopping, US marketed Black Friday  deals aren’t just limited to their home countries.  Residents across the Caribbean will be able to shore up on everyday goods, electronics, and Christmas presents offered from major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target and many others.

Some deals presented themselves earlier that Thursday and will last until 12 pm Friday.  But if you miss the sales don’t worry Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day of the year is coming up just two days after.

Started back in 2005, it was founded by the National Retail Federation for online-only sales and deals to combat the long lines and crowds of Black Friday and dethroned the traditional Friday as the largest shopping event. If you want the in store experience, Friday is your chance but for those who shop online the two are hardly distinguishable.

Experts at business insider say tech deals are better on Cyber Monday but only slightly so if you’re worried about something selling out, it might be best to pick it up on Friday.

It is also worth noting that over the years, even the Saturday in between has taken shape to promote smaller stores.  This shopping day is dubbed: Small Business Saturday and it ensure that the mom and pop or boutique-styled stores are not forgotten in the spending frenzy.

It is estimated that Americans will do 50 per cent of their shopping this holiday weekend; spending some $158 Billion.

Happy shopping!

Caribbean News

Grants for farmers

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#TurksandCaicos, January 31, 2023 – Good Morning to my colleagues in government, I recognize……..and most importantly good morning to the farmers. It is my pleasure today to have you here at this award ceremony.  For the very first time in Turks and Caicos, farmers are getting relief for hurricane damage.

This shows that the government is committed to ensuring that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to a constant and nutritious supply of food, reduce the food import bill and retain money in the local economy. Food Security is the foundation of all human needs. Given the threat to the global supply chain and growing inaccessibility to enough nutritious food, the Government is committed to supporting the farmers to produce local food, to supplement the food requirement of the country. My government’s priority is to provide an enabling environment, to facilitate local investment within the Agriculture Sector as outlined in the People’s Plan for Empowerment

In February last year (2022) my government launched the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro-Grant Incentive). This Finance Support Program for farmers is the first program of this kind in the Turks and Caicos Islands and shows Government’s mandate is to invest heavily in local food production through providing financial support. My government has allocated US$250,000.00 in this first year to promote agriculture development. This Finance Program has 3 areas of support

  • Improvement Programmes – to upgrade farms, Existing registered farmers who wish to perform farm upgrades can receive a maximum of $20,000
  • New Farm Start Up/Young Entrepreneurs– For new or younger farmers between the ages of 18-25 years can receive a maximum of $15,000
  • Disaster Relief – this is specifically in response to National Natural Disasters “Acts of Nature” inclusive of earthquake, hurricane and storms and other approved natural disasters. The value of this grant will be 10% of the assessed damages (up to a maximum of $20,000 USD

To date 12 farmers have received grants in the first 2 categories. Today we are here to give disaster relief to those registered farmers who would have suffered from losses due to the passage of hurricane Fiona in September last year.

Government knows that Farming is an expensive business, farmers livelihood depends on the investment they make on their farms. We live in a small island state that is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricane. These disasters can have devastating effects on farms, destroying years of productive work and effort farmers would have put in.

Government in recognizing the important contribution farmers make to Food security and the vulnerabilities they face has moved into action to provide much needed support towards the rebuilding of the farms. Today 15 registered will be receiving funds for disaster relief to assist with their rebuilding efforts. This monies I know will be used for the purposes granted.

I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues and Premier for supporting the continued efforts to grow the Agriculture Sector.

My department of Agriculture recognizes farming is dynamic and as such has lobbied Cabinet for continued support. I am pleased to say that in August last year through a Cabinet Paper, government had approved amending the Agriculture Policy to provide full exemption of import duties for farm vehicles registered farmers can now apply through the department for this support. At that meeting we also agreed for the Department of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive Agro-Incentive Program to support farming in the TCI.

Once again I would like to commend the farmers who are benefiting today for their hard work and dedication and look forward to serving you as your minister

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Finance

TCI Cabinet Agrees to Funding for Farmers hit by Hurricane Fiona and more

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 24, 2023 – A new farmer information system as well as money for our farmers affected by Hurricane Fiona is on the way, this was one of the newest updates from the Cabinet.

The TCIG approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro-Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms; those which had incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona last September.

Also approved were proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country, covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock, a long-time complaint from residents in Grand Turk especially.

Additionally, two new public holidays are on the roster as the Cabinet approved a national break for the observance of the King’s Coronation on 8 May 2023  and 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.

Also in the cabinet meeting, TCIG approved the use of existing funds to retrofit the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.

Approval was granted for the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.

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Finance

NIB Pensions are late but will be paid 

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By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 23, 2023 – National Insurance Board Pensioners in the Turks and Caicos who were worried about missing their payments this month will be able to rest easy.  While they were slowed down because of the new increase, the cheques will come and will be even bigger than usual.

“Pension Payday just for this month will be slightly delayed because we have to go and make changes to our systems so that we can pay at the new levels and our IT team is working toward that end,” said Rhesa Cartwright, National Insurance Board CEO.

The new distribution date for pension monies is Wednesday January 25.

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