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New Winners and Nominees emerge in this Year’s Business Awards

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The Business Awards hosted by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce took place on January 26, 2013 at the luxurious Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort. The event which is in its sixth year culminates the annual week of activities to celebrate Nobel Laureates’ Week. The aim of the awards is to showcase entrepreneurial excellence and innovation in the business sector. This year the awards committee acknowledged an increase in submissions, particularly from new companies on island.

The event commenced with a welcome reception, followed by the red carpet event. which was coupled with a cocktail. There were a myriad of business houses represented at the awards. The red carpet event was very lively and festive as nominees were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses. It was lights, camera, and action everywhere as participants, nominees and guests alike anxiously awaited the commencement of the awards presentation.

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Saint Lucia in the Global Spotlight – Thanks to Our Nobel Laureates!

img_dwAs Saint Lucians reflect on the 34th anniversary of Fair Helen’s independence, one cannot help but note the achievements which have been accomplished thus far.

Since 1979 Saint Lucia has surged ahead and has made many economic gains because of the industriousness of its people, and this has translated into prosperity and recognition for the nation.

Not that any single achievement should be viewed as better than the others, since each must be judged on its own merit. However, the successes of Sir Arthur Lewis and Hon. Derek Walcott are something for which Saint Lucians should be particularly proud. Receiving the Nobel Prize was not only the crowning achievement of their careers, it could also be considered as a feather in the nation’s cap.

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Improving Your Customer Service Can Mean Big Profits!

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While the notion that “the customer is always right” does not always ring true, the phrase amounts to a public realisation of the importance of the customer.

This importance is not always acknowledged in the business environment, and often we hear of or experience instances of deplorable customer service.

Remembering that the customer is the lifeblood of any business establishment is the key to success. Service-industry workers must continuously seek ways to improve on their relationship with their customers as the sustenance and viability of their workplace depends on it.

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Businesses, and by extension their employees, should never underestimate the purchasing power of a customer. A customer has the ability to cripple business operations by simply buying elsewhere. As long as customers become enlightened and are acutely aware of the power they possess, this could be a potential threat to businesses that fail to satisfy them. Businesses should therefore conduct their affairs with this in mind and try to genuinely attend to their customers’ needs.

In dealing with customers, do not let personal judgments dictate the quality of customer service you provide. It is only natural to make judgments based on appearances. However, when these judgments are influenced by personal biases, and if they are likely to impact others negatively, then they should be re-evaluated. People’s race, sex, sexual orientation or sense of style should not entitle them to receive special treatment nor preclude them from receiving the best service available.

Finally, never forget that you too are a customer. The roles of service provider and service receiver are easily and often reversed. Putting oneself in the service receiver’s shoes when occupying the role of a service provider will enable one to become more sympathetic and empathetic towards the needs and plights of a customer. This supports the old adage “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The preceding are just a few tips which, if practiced, can help to improve your customers’ overall service experience.

The Trinidadian – Saint Lucian Connection

Variety is considered the ‘spice of life’ and here in the Caribbean the rich cultural diversity is often considered the most intricate detail of the islands. What sets us apart from the rest of the world is not limited to our geographical location but the flare and richness of the multitude of races, ethnicities and cultures, which shared throughout the Caribbean. Saint Lucia is no different, playing home to a large number of these ethnicities and cultures.

On September 22nd, 2012 a contingent of Trinidadian nationals living here orchestrated an exhibition/trade show to commemorate the 50th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which was on August 31st, 2012. The event was held at the Baywalk Shopping Mall Conference Room and sought to highlight the work of Trinidadians living in Saint Lucia and also featured some of the products, which are sold locally but are manufactured in Trinidad. The room was beautifully decorated in red, black and white reminiscent of the Trinidadian flag. The atmosphere was flamboyant, truly cognizant of Trinidandian culture; the ushers were dressed in carnival costumes and guests were greeted by the sweet sound of steel pan music.

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Job Interview Dos and Don’ts

You got the call; your job interview is coming up. You may be excited and nervous; but being well dressed and well prepared can make a world of difference in your confidence and how you do in the job interview. Continue reading

Being VAT Savvy Everything You, As A Consumer Need to Know

The essential purpose of introducing the VAT is to have a tax system that is fairer, more effective, efficient and easier to administer. VAT has fulfilled these objectives in more than 120 countries worldwide, including: St. Vincent & The Grenedines, Dominica, Barbados, Grenada and St. Kitts & Nevis.

What is Value Added Tax (VAT)? Continue reading

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