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Rotary Foundation donates to literacy programme

| 02/12/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A non-profit organisation in the Cayman Islands dedicated to improving the reading skills of both adults and children has received a US $5,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation. LIFE (Literacy Is For Everyone) provides reading programmes in the primary schools for students who need help with literacy skills, as well as a new adult volunteer reading partner, CALS (Computer Assisted Literacy Solution). One of the programmes supported by LIFE is an intervention called LLI (Leveled Literacy Solution), which is provided to government primary schools. The donation from Rotary will be used to pay for more LLI interventions, said LIFE Chairman Woody Foster (far right).

“LIFE’s business is literacy in the Cayman Islands. It was established two years ago and it is starting to make a difference in the community,” Foster said after receiving the cheque at last Wednesday’s weekly Rotary Sunrise meeting. He noted that LIFE was supported by many volunteers “but some things do not come for free”.

As Rotarian Hendrik van Genderen handed over the cheque, he pointed to the worldwide reach of Rotary. This donation comes from the Rotary Foundation through district 7020, of which the Cayman Islands is part. The district reviewed the application, van Genderen said, and agreed to this grant, which is an example of Rotary’s commitment to literacy and its confidence that LIFE will use the funds wisely.

The Rotary Foundation,the global charitable arm of Rotary, raises its funds from Rotarians and supporters of Rotary. Funds are disbursed directly by the Foundation or via the Rotary district.

Because Rotarians involved are volunteers, administrative overheads are minimal and funds made available by the Foundation go a long way. Grants are effective as applications go through a highly competitive application process and Rotarians in the country which receives the grant ensure that funds are well spent.

LIFE is an independent charitable organization dedicated to promoting the significance of literacy, stimulating new literacy initiatives and improving literacy standards of all school age children and adults in the Cayman Islands through advocacy, public awareness, and partnership with governmental and other organisations. Working with volunteers and specialists, LIFE provides necessary resources to teachers and parents in order to facilitate learning in selected children and adults.

To learn more visit LIFE’s website.

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More conflicts exposed at GT airport

| 07/05/2013 | 0 Comments

owen roberts (220x300).jpg(CNS Business): Correspondence between the airport management and the Cayman Islands Airport Authority Board chair reveals that, despite his own direct business interests at the airport, Richard Arch refused to sign a ‘notice of individual interest form’ in line with international accounting procedures at the time the government company was preparing its annual accounts. In emails leaked to CNS, which were sent just weeks ahead of the suspension of the CEO, the board chair queried why he or any board member needed to sign such a form, given that he had supplied a letter regarding his business interests at the airport and the fact that he had absented himself when necessary. Read more on CNS Business

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Law interns cut their teeth at Mourant

| 10/01/2013 | 0 Comments

interns.gif(CNS Business): Eight young Caymanians recently completed internships with leading law firm Mourant Ozannes after cutting their teeth on the world of offshore law. The students, who are now returning to their studies, gained valuable insight into various legal practice areas including funds, finance and commercial litigation, working with the firm’s corporate services, compliance and accounts departments.

Mourant Ozannes says it is committed to supporting bright young talent in the Cayman Islands and offers internships to students who meet the firm’s criteria. Managing Partner, Neal Lomax, said, "Mourant Ozannes is committed to the development and progression of Caymanians.  Our intern programme helps us to identify promising individuals who may be offered the opportunity to progress to our scholarship and articled clerk training programmes.  We are pleased to be able to provide this experience to several students each year."

All eight interns were A-Level students about to begin or already undertaking their university studies.  Alicia Thompson is now at the Truman Bodden Law School, Asha Wilson is now at UCCI, Rashana Singh is at the University of Sterling in the Business and Social Studies honours degree programme, Taylor Clarke-Wint is studying Marketing at Southampton Solent University, Aaron DaCosta is at the University of Kent in an honours LLB programme, while Haymond Rankine has graduated from the University of Tampa with a Bachelors of Science with honours in Business Management. Elizabeth Wauchope is currently completing A-levels at The Kings School Canterbury in the UK, and Clare-Louise McGrath at Cayman Prep & High School.

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CNS launching new website

| 28/10/2011 | 13 Comments

(CNS Business): Cayman News Service will be launching a new website next week dedicated to business news, both local and international, as well as the comments, viewpoints and forums that have become the hallmark of CNS. On Launch Day, Friday 4 November, the popular news website is partnering with the Cayman Islands Brewery, a local company that produces one of these islands’ most successful exports, to offer readers a 100% made-in-Cayman brew to celebrate the occasion, and vouchers can be downloaded from the new site. CNS has also announced that well-known local journalist and editor Lindsey Turnbull, will be joining the CNS team to write the business editorial content.

Go to CNS Business

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Tough economic times take toll on Expo

| 24/10/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Small business owners exhibiting at the Chamber of Commerce Business Expo said government bureaucracy and inefficiency, a declining population, as well as the generally depressed market and the end of a particularly slow low season were all obstacles to growth. Increased costs, such as those associated with importing goods, were also putting the squeeze on even the most profitable businesses, owners said at this year’s Expo. Furthermore, a general scarcity of cash was reflected in the drop in the number of businesses exhibiting, though some found innovative solutions to showcasing their products during these tough economic times.

Carol Hay from Cayman Gourmet Pepper Jelly said she was unable, as a small business owner, to pay thecost of even a small booth at the Expo, so she was delighted when PJ Coyle from Precision Print had invited her to join him at his booth and she was happy to attract event-goers with a free sample of her pepper jelly, cheese and biscuits.

“Small companies like mine would love to exhibit at the Expo but it is just too expensive for them. Next year I think the Chamber should have a special area for locally made and grown products,” Hay said. “In Cayman we have a great selection of local grown and made products that would definitely draw people to the Expo.”

Coyle revealed that he had looked at the statistics, which indicated that around half the booth exhibitors at last year’s Expo had not returned this, which showed to him that money was extremely tight. He added that he was happy to offer Hay a place at his booth for free to attract people to his products.

Rod Jefferson, managing director with printers and shippers Post Net, said the traditionally slow season over the summer months had been “pretty rough” and there were not enough people on the island to push up sales. On a positive note, he said that his business was seeing growth signs this month and felt that business was about on track where it was before the slow season hit sales.

David Stephens, from Apex Industries, which sells storm shutters and awnings, said that the slowdown in the economy had meant that people were not spending their cash on items that were not essential. “People see the products they would like but in this present economic climate they are not prepared to pay out,” he said. “Once they see signs of improvement in the economy, I feel they will be more comfortable with spending on items that they like versus what they need.”

The busy season for Apex Industries was opposite to most businesses in Cayman, Stephens said, in that most people looked at buying storm shutters from June to October, during hurricane season, and although sales had been steady, he was expecting a quiet time from November to March.

Another exhibitor said that government bureaucracy and inefficiencies were the main obstacles for their business to overcome and that they were crippling the economy.  “I just wish that government employees would do their jobs in an efficient manner,” the exhibitor added.

One business exhibiting at the Expo that said it had seen positive sales growth was Paradise Coffee, which specialises in a single brewing coffee system. Gary Shepherd from the company said that they were in a unique situation in that their product was so innovative that it was becoming increasingly popular, even within a supressed local market.

But even though sales were growing, increases in freight costs for importing the product, as well as other factors such as the increased commodity cost, changes in weather patterns and crop growth, were all taking their toll on profit margins. Shepherd was confident that should Cayman’s economy return to the same levels of prosperity seen a few years ago, business would again be booming.

The Cayman Pharmacy Group was another company for which business was on the up. Camille Martin, home healthcare advisor & fitter for Professional Pharmacy, explained that the Pharmacy Group was offering personalised counselling on a range of issues, such as diabetes and hormone replacement therapy, and as a result they were able to expand their practice.

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Local TV drops Island24 in favour of weather

| 10/10/2011 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Local viewers who don’t subscribe to WestStar TV’s paid cable service will lose their free entertainment channel next month when the TV stationswitches off Island 24. On cable the channel will be replaced with a non-stop weather channel — Cayman Weather 24/7 which viewers watching the free over the air television service will not be able to pick up. Cayman 27 is also receiving a HD upgrade and construction work began at the television centre this week.

A team of broadcast engineers are overseeing a complete overhaul of Cayman 27’s broadcast equipment and all of Cayman 27 shows including Daybreak, Cayman 27 News programmes, and the talk shows will be broadcasting digitally in high definition by the first week of November officials from the station said.

General Manager, Mike Martin said viewers will see some temporary changes during the construction phase. “Daybreak is on location at the Ritz Carlton, all news programmes will be live from the newsroom, and talk shows are being pre-taped to facilitate changing out equipment and updating the studio,” he added

WestStar customers can watch Cayman 27 in standard definition on channel 27, and subscribers to WestStar’s HD service can watch in high definition on channel 327. Viewers that receive the signal free over-the-air will still be able to watch channel 27 as usual, the firm said.

The TV station also stated that many of the shows once aired on Island 24 wil now switch to Cayman27. See details of the new schedule below.

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Tobacco dealers need to re-register to ply wares

| 02/10/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Tobacco dealers only have one month left to apply for registration to trade next year if they wish to carry on selling the product.  Tuesday, 1 November is the deadline to apply for renewal for 2012. A total of 138 tobacco dealers registered last year and Mark Scotland the health minister thanked the business community for their support in implementing the provisions of the tobacco legislation: “Business owners have been very accommodating of the changes and we hope to see this trend continue,” he said as he advised anyone with doubts about the legislation or if anyone was still selling tobacco products without a registration certificate to contact the Public Health Department to avoid prosecution.

“According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License). Also, failing to re-new the registration in time will attract late fees,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said.

Applications submitted after 1 November and up to 31 December will attract a late fee of an additional 50% of the registration fee. Applications submitted after 31 December and up to 31 January will attract a late fee of an additional 100% of the registration fee. If no application for renewal is received by 31 January, dealers will have to cease operation for 12 months before submitting a new application.

The annual registration renewal fees are CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor or importer. Applicants will need a renewal application form (Form 3); a current Trade and Business License Certificate; and, if there were any changes in dealership since the last registration such as contact information, location, ownership or trade of products, Form 1 (application for registration as a tobacco dealer) in order to renew their registration.

Application forms and guidelines are available from the Ministry of Health’s website. For further information contact Ms. Annadurai Richards, Tobacco Registrar, Public Health Department, Cayman Islands Hospital on 244-2889 or email at annadurai.richards@hsa.ky

 

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Property sales up over 200% CIREBA reports

| 27/09/2011 | 44 Comments

(CNS): The real estate market is showing signs of real improvement, according to the local real estate brokers body, which says that property sales up to the end of August this year show a 203% increase over the same period of 2010. There has been a total of CI$422 million transfers for 2011, compared to CI$207 million for the same period last year, CI$255m in 2009 and CI$403 million in the last boom year of 2008. The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) President Jeremy Hurst said in the latest market report that this was positive news, but he warned that while value was up, transaction numbers were down ten percent on last year.

He added that there were only 1006 transfers in 2011, compared to 1173, 1350 and 1,602 in 2010, 2009 and 2008 respectively. This averages about 15% per annum drop in property transactions over the four year period, which Hurst said was a clear indication that whilst sales at the top end of the market remain solid, the number of sales at the mid to lower end have declined annually since 2008.

This indicates that significantly less people are buying lower to mid-priced condominiums and development lots, Hurst stated in the CIREBA report. Statistics which analyze sales by property type support this, showing a significant 50% drop in the number of home lots sold and 25% drop in the number of condominiums sold since the last boom year of 2008.

Pointing to the population decline due to staff cutbacks and immigration policies, including rollover, as an explanation, Hurst said that the recent announcements of changes to that policy was good news for the sector.

“The other good news is that a number of the major projects on the cards appear to be moving forward, with one, the West Bay Road bypass, even breaking ground. If we can keep up the momentum with the Shetty Hospital, the Airport and Port projects and the Enterprise City we should still be in good shape during the years to come,” he said.

The real estate body president also pointed to what Hurst said appeared to be two significant residential and resort projects for the Bodden Town area working their way through the due diligence processes. Hurst did not spell out what these were and stated that they were still “some way off” but said they were a sign of confidence in the economy.

He pointed to the need to keep “crime in check” as he added that the recent outbreak would make it difficult to sell property. In general though, Hurst heralded the progress over the last quarter and, not surprisingly, gave a positive outlook for the market‘s winter season and beyond.

The full market report and previous versions are available on the CIREBA website

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ICCI makes room for more business students

| 26/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The opening of a new building at the International College of the Cayman Islands will enable the school to offer more opportunities for Caymanians to study business and accounting. The new building was named the Carlyle and Martha McLaughlin Hall to honour two alumni who have made substantial professional and financial contributions spanning three decades. Although there have been some delays to fully equip the classrooms with the latest technology, the new building is already being used for the fall quarter courses.

In the next couple weeks, both classrooms will include a smart board and a laptop, technology, which is being used by the most progressive universities around the world, explained Dr. Cummings.

ICCI’s Dean, Scott Cummings said the new building will enable the International College to increase its course offerings each term, said Dean Scott Cummings. “These state-of-the-art classrooms in the new building means we can better serve the student body,” the Dean said. “It is an important step forward for the college as we continue to grow our student body and institution without being held back because of lack of space.”

The Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants and the Cayman Islands Fund Administrators Association have both sponsored the fitting out of aclassroom which has helped the college a non-profit institution keep the tuition affordable while maintaining its international accreditation.

“This new building will provide the opportunity for more local students to obtain qualifications that will open doors for them in the accounting and administration professions as well as other areas of the financial industry in Cayman,” said CIFAA chair Darren Stainrod. “In doing so, it will ensure the availability of qualified professionals to enable the businesses on the island to grow and to maintain Cayman’s position as a leading global financial centre.”  

 

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Customers get to keep numbers in New Year

| 19/09/2011 | 9 Comments

CNS): Local telecoms operator LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless) says that it will be introducing number portability in the New Year. Having signed an agreement with PortingXS to provide the Local Number Portability (LNP) database services, the firm says these means local telephone numbers can move from one network to another. LNP allows customers to change their mobile or fixed line provider whilst retaining their existing number saving them the costly problem of notifying friends, family and business contacts of new numbers or reprinting promotional and contact material. 

Tony Ritch General Manager, Cayman Islands said LIME had taken the lead of the initiative and the goal is to make the 31st of January 2012 the date that LNP will roll out across the Cayman Islands allowing peopleto choose their telephone provider without losing their number.

“Of course, LNP willonly work if all other providers are also ready with us,” Ritch said. “This is a first in the English speaking Caribbean, many countries across the globe already enjoy the benefits that LNP brings and we are looking forward to launching this exciting initiative here.”

 

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