Page 1

business@tribunemedia.net

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019

$4.50

‘Don’t spend before necessary’ on Dorian By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net THE Bahamas must not be “aggressive and spend money before we need to” on Hurricane Dorian restoration, a former Chamber of Commerce chairman warned yesterday. Gowon Bowe told Tribune Business it needed to craft a recovery strategy that minimised disruption to its long-term fiscal strategy while still permitting the rebuilding of communities devastated by the category five storm. He added that the $436m deficit shock unveiled by K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister, represented where The Bahamas ultimately needed to reach but argued that the sums unveiled did not have to be spent all at once. “The one element that I’ve shared with the deputy

GOWON BOWE prime minister, and have said repeatedly, is I think we have to be very strategic in looking at the numbers,” Mr Bowe explained. “When he speaks to the spending that needs to happen in terms of restoring infrastructure, restoration of government services, medical facilities, we have to be careful we don’t be aggressive and spend money before we need to. “That’s not saying don’t have a deliberate action to

SEE PAGE 7

THE Central Bank yesterday pledged to work with the government’s consumer protection agencies to determine if the Bahamian one-cent coin’s phase-out will spark more regulations. John Rolle, its governor, said it had already “alerted” the relevant entities to the issue of whether detailed rules are required for the “rounding” that will be necessary with cashbased transactions after the

one-cent ceases to be legal tender come year-end 2020. For cash transactions that do not end in a zero or five, the Central Bank is proposing a mechanism whereby the value is “rounded” up or down to one of these three figures in the absence of the one-cent. Electronic transactions will not be impacted by this. Mr Rolle, in launching the public education campaign surrounding the Central Bank’s plans to end the one-cent coin’s use

SEE PAGE 6

DPM: $15m Dorian help ‘sufficient’ By YOURI KEMP

THE deputy prime minister yesterday said the $15m provided by the government to-date to assist up to 2,500 Dorian-ravaged businesses is “sufficient for the time being”. K Peter Turnquest, speaking as the government provided further details on how Abaco and Grand Bahama-based micro, small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) could access the grant/loan facility

it is providing, said some $5m had already been made available through the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) and other channels. Philip Davis, the opposition leader, has suggested that $100m will be needed, but Mr Turnquest said: “We have already made $5m available through the SBDC and other funding channels that were already positioned to help with

SEE PAGE 4

$4.54

Grand Lucayan to re-open Tuesday By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

One-cent’s end ‘rounding’ into regulation query By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

$4.53

T

HE Grand Lucayan resort will re-open on Tuesday, its chairman revealed yesterday, in a move that will return 200 staff to work and seek to narrow the government’s ongoing subsidy. Michael Scott, head of the Lucayan Renewal Holdings Board, told Tribune Business that the government-owned resort may open some rooms in the long-shuttered Breaker’s Cay property as well as the 196-room Lighthouse Pointe depending on the strength of demand. He said Freeport’s socalled “anchor property”

$4.54

MICHAEL SCOTT

• 200 staff return amid effort to narrow subsidy • May open Breaker’s Cay rooms if demand • Carnival returns today; more airport fears had to continue “generating as much revenue as we can” to stem the bleeding for the Bahamian taxpayer ahead of the resort’s anticipated sale to the ITM Group/ Royal Caribbean group as part of its $195m first phase harbour redevelopment. And Mr Scott also signalled that the re-opening will lift the burden imposed on the nearby Pelican Bay resort, which has been running at full occupancy ever since Hurricane Dorian struck and acted as virtually the only

hotel accommodation open to non-governmental organisations and disaster responders. “Until we complete [the sale] we’ve got to continue to generate as much revenue as we can, and there’s demand for the space with various market providers coming in and first responders,” Mr Scott said in confirming the October 15 re-opening. “It was mentioned to me this morning that Carnival wants to rent some rooms. There is demand for it.

“The essential thing is that until we close we have to generate as much revenue as we can to offset continued costs. Given the payroll, the nearly 200 staff we employ, there are these existential ongoing costs that are not going to go away. We have to meet them. “We’re being subsidised consistently more than we’re taking in. We have to do our part, rather than call on government, to generate more revenue. The hurricane has

SEE PAGE 4

Governor: Stick to plan for ‘credibility’ By NEIL HARTNELL Tribune Business Editor nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas must “show credibility” by sticking to its medium and long-term fiscal plan despite Hurricane Dorian’s $436m blow, the Central Bank’s governor urged yesterday.  John Rolle, pictured, told Tribune Business it was critical that this nation “maintain fiscal discipline” in non-hurricane years so that it both remained on its consolidation track and built up financial breathing room to cope with future natural disasters. Speaking after K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister, revealed that the projected fiscal deficit for 2019-2020 was now likely to hit $573.4m, Mr Rolle

said such an outcome was “not unexpected” given the magnitude of the devastation Dorian inflicted upon Abaco and Grand Bahama. “It’s precisely the kind of outcome that causes you to have a very deliberate focus on consolidation and fiscal discipline in the quiet years,” the governor said. “For the government, what’s most important is that we maintain the discipline around how the finances are

managed in years where we do not encounter a disaster and keep them on the path of consolidation. “If we succeed at it, it allows you to do precisely what you have to do now; a spike in the debt, an upshoot in the deficit to manage the recovery. Everything you do with fiscal consolidation gives the room to respond to natural disasters. “For the government and The Bahamas, we have to demonstrate credibility that our medium and long-range fiscal framework, that we’re sticking to it.” Based on recentlyreleased Central Bank data, the Minnis administration was certainly “sticking” to its consolidation initiatives prior to Dorian’s arrival. The government hit its

2018-2019 deficit target by near-halving the “red ink” to $222.4m, achieving a $192.5m or 46.4 percent year-over-year reduction. Mr Rolle, meanwhile, said it was sometimes hard to believe that The Bahamas’ vacation rental market was enjoying such a steep growth rate as he expressed optimism that many visitors who would have stayed in Abaco and Grand Bahama could be attracted to other islands. “The Bahamas is still on a very steep growth path with vacation rentals yearover-year,” he told Tribune Business. “It’s been difficult to look at the year-overyear change and convince yourself you’re looking at

SEE PAGE 5


PAGE 2, Friday, October 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

Making work bearable for the cancer fighter OCTOBER is a month given to the awareness and celebration of persons living through breast cancer diagnosis. Women and men experiencing this ordeal find it necessary to have strong support as they go through the gruelling stages of treatment and recovery. Employers and

co-workers have a critical role to play in providing love and care to their colleagues battling this disease. Today, we focus on the many ways we can give support to those affected. Here are a few suggestions: •  Respond quickly and positively to their requests and questions. The human resources team will be

flooded with questions regarding leave, insurance, national insurance benefits and the like. How we respond, and how quickly we respond, truly matters. The stress of not knowing in this time of great uncertainty can be even more harrowing for those persons struggling. Training can certainly come in handy

as well. Teaching managers and human resources professionals how to respond when an employee receives a cancer diagnosis can make a huge difference. •  Provide a flexible/ modified working schedule or permit time missed for treatment and appointments to be made up. Whether this involves working a reduced/parttime schedule or changing a shift, people need to know there are some accommodations and consideration for their condition by employers. In some environments the option of working from home, as needed, or on a regular basis can be explored. Where this is not possible, the thought of allowing for mental and physical breaks during extreme periods of fatigue can be considered. • Make the physical work space more comfortable for

the affected employee. This may require moving parking closer to the premises, adjusting the temperature in the room, changing the furniture or having the vents cleaned more regularly. These small gestures will send the clear message that consideration is being given to make them as comfortable as possible through the physical challenges. Modifying a dress code to allow wearing a scarf, hat, unrestrictive clothing may also be considered in keeping with ensuring that the employee is content. •  Reduce the mental strain and workload. Restructure the job so that the most difficult tasks are performed at the time of day the employee has the most mental and/or physical energy and stamina. This is another strategy for the caring employer and human resources team. Assigning assistants to the

IAN FERGUSON BY

impacted worker might also be explored for those difficult days during the journey. A cheerleader on the job to assist during the low moments can be a tremendous morale boost. • NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at iferguson@bahamas.com.

K PETER TURNQUEST, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, gave opening remarks on “The power of data for transforming national development” at a forum held by the Ministry of Finance in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) yesterday. Photos: Kemuel Stubbs/BIS

DPM: ‘Open data culture’ critical to better governance THE deputy prime minister yesterday said the creation of “a culture of open data in government” is critical for national development and better decision-making. K Peter Turnquest, addressing a forum held by the Ministry of Finance in

conjunction with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), warned that a cultural “transformation” both inside and outside government is necessary if The Bahamas is to maximise the benefits of the digital reforms being driven by the Minnis administration. “A culture of open data in government is a major departure from the way we currently operate, where data is often treated like a personal possession, shielded and guarded in ways that are counterproductive to effective governance,” Mr Turnquest said. “Information and data should be treated as public goods, where it is for the benefit of all. When treated this way, we are able to extract information from the data to support decision-making for national development. “To really achieve success at data-driven policy development there is an absolute need to break down these walls and treat data and information as public goods.” Mr Turnquest said a similar change was required among wider Bahamian society, adding that the “scepticism that exists with sharing information” inhibits the ability of the Department of Statistics to collect timely and accurate data on multiple economic indicators. “For The Bahamas, I am pleased to say, data driven growth is a strategic priority for the government, and we are implementing a change process that will systematically allow us to transform our capacity to produce, transform and analyse data with high-quality standards, protecting privacy and confidentiality for policy making, monitoring and accountability,” he added. “It is not enough to simply collect more data. The task at hand is to produce accurate, timely and disaggregated data that are relevant for achieving our development goals.” Mr Turnquest  said  the prime minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU) was set up as a vehicle to give life to the government’s data for development plan. He added that by tracking

data around the time associated with delivering business license renewals and new business registrations, the government is able to set specific targets to reduce the delivery time and adopt new policies to achieve those targets. “Earlier this year, the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR) reduced the time to deliver business license renewals from over 30 days to fewer than 48 hours. To improve the speed of starting a new business, DIR also created a new category of licensing for low-risk businesses to register,” Mr Turnquest said. He explained that data drove this process, allowing the Ministry of Finance to objectively and transparently assess performance, track progress, and ultimately improve its service delivery to the public’s benefit. The deputy prime minister added that another example of the priority the government places on data is the reform of the Department of Information Technology, which is now the Department of Transformation and Digitisation (DTD). “The change here is not just in the name,” Mr Turnquest said.  “The mandate of the Department has expanded, encapsulating the government’s strategic shift to focus on data for development. “The transformed department now orients its information services around the goal of improving the government’s service delivery (through public officers), and improving the accessibility of government services (through ease of doing business).” He added: “This is significant because DTD is not only providing technology to digitise old processes and change out legacy platforms, it is also driving the process of revamping and streamlining old systems. “It makes no sense to simply digitise a tenstep process when that process could - and should - be three steps in the first place. It is a subtle but important shift in focus that is needed to deliver digital transformation in government.” 


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 3

GB MUST ‘MAKE MOST’ OF GOVT URGED: ‘SECURE’ ONE-YEAR RECOVERY ZONE MARSH HARBOUR PORT By YOURI KEMP

GRAND Bahama firms were yesterday urged to “make the most” of their one-year Economic Recovery Zone (ERZ) designation, a private sector leader saying: “We didn’t expect three years.” Gregory LaRoda, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce president, told Tribune Business that the government’s decision to extend post-Dorian tax breaks and other financial relief beyond the island’s east had been met with approval from many businesses. “When we went out and did our surveys of small businesses, one of the things they said they wanted to see was the ERZ initiative extended to the entire Grand Bahama. I think we need to make the most of that one year for what we have,” Mr LaRoda said. “Freeport businesses didn’t expect to get the same three-year timeframe that east Grand Bahama got. We are happy with the one year and we will just watch to see how it goes. “If the need is still there after the 12-month period, we can try to convince him [the prime minister] and we feel that, once he hears the business community on the matter, he will extend it. But I think we need to make the most of that one year that the government

is granting us for what we can.” Mr LaRoda added that the chamber wanted to be more involved in the business relief initiative being led by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) for its licensees within the Port area. “We are involved with that,” he said. “But not as much as we would like. “There are some meetings going on with the business community and the GBPA today [yesterday] that I am aware of, but I could not attend because I had to be in Nassau today... The Port Authority is now starting to meet with license holders to see what can be done from the Port’s standpoint.” Mr LaRoda outline several issued highlighted by respondents to the business survey that the chamber circulated immediately following Hurricane Dorian’s passage. “Businesses wanted the duty concessions and VAT waivers for equipment and machines, but we understand that this is mainly granted by the government,” he added. “Second, they wanted license fees waived and other concessions to be granted by the Port Authority. Third, they needed help with repairs and mold remediation. The entire island had damage from flooding, but in Freeport proper it was mainly flood damage and not as much structural damage.”

“Fourth, they needed access to capital. Low-cost business loans to help with replenishing inventory and getting new equipment.” The chamber president continued: “The exigency order that was put in place by the government was a good thing, particularly since it has been extended to companies on the island. So that means you can use that same exigency order and buy locally. “Because one of the issues was that we could only use the exigency for stuff if we were buying away. You can get your approvals and purchase locally on the island. That helps with encouraging folks to stay home and buy locally.” “This survey we conducted started right after the hurricane. So matters like having reliable power, water and telecommunications also ranked highly, but these issues have now started to subside. The power company did a Yeoman’s job in getting power back to the main areas, especially in Freeport proper. There is still an issue with potable water and that is affecting the people in the restaurant and food business because they have to buy five gallon water jugs to cook and clean with.” Mr LaRoda praised Aliv for “getting the cell phones up right away. BTC (The Bahamas Telecommunications Company) is lagging behind but are starting to catch up slowly”.

By YOURI KEMP

THE Abaco Chamber of Commerce president has urged the government to “secure” the island’s major shipping port so that commerce can again flow freely and boost post-Dorian recovery. Ken Hutton, pictured, told Tribune Business that while the November 7 re-opening of Maxwell’s Supermarket would bring “a huge degree of normalcy” back to Marsh Harbour, this could be threatened by an inability to import the necessary inventory. “If we can get the international sea port secured it can be done,” Mr Hutton said of the planned re-opening. “Right now it is still not secure. “There is no fencing or anything at the sea port, and it is open to any and everyone to just walk on through. “When the ship comes in and you have cargo, and are

unable to take cargo off of the dock immediately, there is no place to leave goods at storage. If the cargo is not cleared by Customs then the shipping companies have to take the risk of the cargo, and the shipping companies are not willing to do that.” Mr Hutton added: “We need the port secured. We need a full-time presence at the dock, Defense Force officers and police officers, along with Customs in addition to securing the area with proper fencing

and surveillance equipment and the other necessary security measures. “There is also a huge risk of stowaways, too, that international shipping companies are at risk for. There is just no security. Security is the main issue here in Abaco.” Mr Hutton added that efforts to rebuild Abaco would “really take off” with the return of the commercial banks and financial service. Agreeing that Maxwell’s reopening would be a major boost, he said: “I think it just adds a huge degree of normalcy back to the area. “People are now dependent on international aid and, with Maxwell’s return, it would make life a little easier. People now have to personally bring food supplies with them every time they come into Abaco, so with the reopening we don’t have to do that any more.”

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394

PUBLIC NOTICE This is to inform the public that

Mark Reynolds is no longer employed at

Tavares and Higgs Insurance Agents and Brokers Ltd. and is NOT authorised to transact any business on their behalf. Sign Management


PAGE 4, Friday, October 11, 2019

Grand Lucayan to re-open Tuesday FROM PAGE ONE been a disrupting factor. Our focus is on dealing with the insurance claim that is going to be mounted soon.” Mr Scott was unable to recall figures detailing the Grand Lucayan’s financial performance, including revenues, costs and losses, but said the resort pre-Dorian had been generating money and enjoyed “a couple of very good months”. “Depending on the demand from first responders and third party market sources coming in to do work in Freeport, we may

try to open some rooms in that building [Breaker’s Cay],” Mr Scott told Tribune Business. “Magnus Alnebeck at Pelican Bay is full.” Breaker’s Cay is currently home to the Royal Caribbean and World Central Kitchen post-Dorian feeding programmes. The government’s sixmonth fiscal “snapshot” for the period to endDecember 2018 revealed that it had injected $45.4m into the Grand Lucayan over that period, including $13m to cover its operational costs. The latter sum will not be recovered by

THE TRIBUNE the purchase price. Besides the initial $65m sale outlay, some $30m of which was paid by the closing, the government also committed to paying former owner, Hutchison Whampoa, around $1.5m to cover losses incurred between the date their purchase agreement was signed and September 11. There are also the estimated $1m per month subsidies incurred to cover operating losses, and the payouts to departed line and management staff. Mr Scott, meanwhile, added that the government was moving to close the ITM/RoyalCaribbean purchase “as quickly as possible”, saying: “We’ve had some delays but have been having regular meetings. The legal and technical teams are interacting with each and it’s full steam ahead.”

Elsewhere, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s president added his voice to private sector calls for Grand Bahama International Airport to be restored and re-opened to international flights as rapidly as possible. Greg LaRoda said: “The last I heard was on November 15 they said they would be able to resume international flights. This was told to us in one of our NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) update meetings. “They are still trying to get temporary facilities sorted out. They also have to get the security equipment sorted out as well. They also have to get their ISPS (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code) standards up. This ISPS standard is very important for air travel, as it was a regulation put in place after the 9/11 attacks for all port facilities around the world. Fencing also has to be put back in place at the airport.

Asked whether a November 15 reopening for the airport is possible, Mr LaRoda said: “I think the November 15 date is doable if they push hard. The managers at the airport need to be communicating more to the public on what progress they are making, which is essentially the Grand Bahama Port Authority.” Meanwhile, Carnival Cruise Line is resuming calls to Grand Bahama today when the Carnival Pride will dock in Freeport. The Carnival Elation will follow this Sunday, and the Carnival Freedom on Tuesday, October 15. The Carnival Pride is expected to bring nearly 2,400 guests, with the cruise line expected to host 39 calls on Freeport - and bring a total of more than 100,000 visitors - between now and year-end. For the full year, Carnival said 400,000 guests will visit Grand Bahama aboard ten different ships sailing from nine US home ports. Senator Kwasi Thompson,

minister of state for Grand Bahama, hailed Carnival’s return. “The rebuilding of Grand Bahama has begun,” he said in a statement. “We welcome the return of Carnival Cruise Line back to Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian. Carnival is an incredible partner for The Bahamas and Grand Bahama.” “Carnival Cruise Line is proud to be such a big yearround supporter for cruise tourism to Freeport, so we are very excited to provide our guests the opportunity to again visit this popular destination,” said Terry Thornton, Carnival’s senior vice-president of nautical and port operations. “Cruise ship visits are important to the local economy, and our shore excursion team has been working closely with local tour operators and has confirmed a variety of attractive onshore excursions for our guests.” More than 15 shore excursions will be offered.

DPM: $15m Dorian help ‘sufficient’ FROM PAGE ONE funding MSMEs with existing funding. The additional $10m will now make it $15m, and we feel that on the onset this would be sufficient for the time being.” The $10m will be provided over the next three years through the SBDC, the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB), the government-sponsored venture capital fund (BEVF) and the commercial banking sector. The funds will go towards providing grants, loans guarantees and equity capital to help MSMEs on Abaco and Grand Bahama, which would not typically qualify for regular bank credit, restore their premises, inventories and operations in Dorian’s aftermath. Davinia Grant, the SBDC’s executive director, responding to fears that persons already in its system prior to Hurricane

Dorian will now be sidelined due to the focus shifting towards Abaco and Grand Bahama, said: “The Government of The Bahamas has provided additional resources so that the SBDC, the BEVF and the BDB can beef up our resources to be able to serve the new clients looking for assistance under the Hurricane Relief Fund. That means that our existing resources prior to Dorian will remain dedicated to serving our clients in the vein that it was happening prior.” She added: “We believe that there are some 2,500 businesses that were impacted by Dorian, but could not pinpoint an exact number for how many would be eligible for assistance as a result. Ms Grant outlined the types of funding that will be made available through the Hurricane Relief Fund, adding: “Five million out of the $10m being provided will be used to guarantee loans up to $6.7m with some

of the clearing banks.” She said different levels of funding will be available for different types of companies. Micro companies with average annual revenue under $100,000 a year will receive grants, loans or equity investments less than $50,000. Small businesses will be eligible for up to $250,000 in various types of funding, and medium-sized businesses with average annual revenue between $1m to $5m pre-Dorian will be able to access up to $500,000 to assist them with the rebuild. Ms Grant said persons looking for assistance can download an application at the SBDC Access Accelerator website, and on all of their social media sites. She pledged a maximum of four to five business days for internal vetting, with the external process taking a maximum of five days. The total turnaround time for approvals for funding above $50,000 will be a total of ten business days.

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394


THE TRIBUNE

Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 5

BAHA MAR AMONG ‘ATLANTIC’S TOP 25’ BAHA Mar and its hotel brands have been recognised among the “Top 25 Resorts in the Atlantic” by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2019. “We are honoured to be recognised by Condé Nast Traveler readers as a leading destination in the Atlantic and the Caribbean, a highly competitive region that is home to some of the most luxurious and beautiful hotels and resorts in the world,” said Graeme Davis, Baha Mar’s president. “This accolade is a testament to the dedication of our incredible associates across the entire Baha Mar resort destination, and speaks to the level of service consistently

BAHA MAR

experienced by our guests.” Conde Nast Traveler recognised each of Baha Mar’s three resort hotels, Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood, as being in the “Top 25 Resorts in the Atlantic” category.

Baha Mar’s guest offerings include the Jack Nicklaus-designed Royal Blue Golf Club; Baha Mar Racquet Club; ESPA spa; more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; Baha Mar Casino, the largest in the Caribbean; The

Governor: Stick to plan for ‘credibility’ FROM PAGE ONE the same thing. Some of that is going to carry activity, particularly in the Family Islands.” Arguing that Dorian’s impact on the Bahamian economy’s 2020 growth potential will be minimised if this nation is “able to save some of the tourist business” that had been headed for Abaco and Grand Bahama, Mr Rolle explained: “It will be better to the extent we find a way to attract persons unable to vacation in Abaco in good numbers to other destinations. “I’m not saying we will attract every single one, but I think a significant fraction could be attracted elsewhere.” The Central Bank’s latest economic report revealed that Abaco’s loss will be felt most dearly in the vacation rental market, as the island accounted for 17.5 percent or almost one in five - listed bookings during the eight months to end-August 2019. Together with Grand Bahama, the two islands have received more than one-quarter or 25.6 percent of all bookings in that market segment prior to Dorian’s arrival. Highlighting the continued growth, the Central Bank added: “The latest data from AirDNA revealed that total room nights sold improved by 49.1 percent in

August over the same month in 2018... “However, pricing indicators varied as the ADR for entire place listings edged up by 0.4 percent to $403.31, while the ADR for hotel comparable listings decreased by 5.1 percent to $153.76. By island, ADRs for entire place listings across all of the major destinations, with the exception of Abaco, increased during the month, while for hotel comparable listings declines were registered across all the major markets, with the exception of Abaco and Grand Bahama. “Over an eight-month period vacation rental sales grew by 30.4 percent in comparison to 2018, with all major destination groupings showing improvements. However, average nightly pricing for entire place listings fell by 1.4 percent, while that of hotel comparable accommodations decreased by 6.5 percent.” Mr Rolle declined to estimate The Bahamas’ revised 2019 GDP growth, which had been projected at 1.8 percent pre-Dorian, but forecast that it is “still going to be moderately positive just because of the strength of the performance” seen in the tourism industry up until the end of August. He suggested that upcoming Bahamian growth estimates by the likes of the International Monetary

LEGAL NOTICE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES ACT, 2000 TR Baha Limited Voluntary Liquidation NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN in accordance with Section 138 (4) of the International Business Companies Act, 2000 as follows:a)

TR Baha Limited is in dissolution under the provisions of the International Business Companies Act, 2000.

b)

The dissolution of the said Company commenced on 25th September 2019 when its Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

c)

The Liquidator of the said Company is Amicorp Bahamas Management Limited whose address is 3rd Floor, Bahamas Financial Centre, Shirley & Charlotte Streets, Nassau, The Bahamas. Amicorp Bahamas Management Limited Bahamas Financial Centre, 3rd Floor, Shirley & Charlotte Street, P.O. Box N-4865, Nassau, Bahamas

CONSULTANT RADIOLOGIST NEEDED A well establish local Radiology Center is seeking to fill the position of Consultant Radiologist. Applicants must have a minimum of seven (7) years experience and possess medical administrative skills. All resumes can be sent to: info@ftdcimaging.com

Fund (IMF) were likely to be “conservative” given international perceptions of Dorian-related devastation, but indicated the impact may be less - especially if The Bahamas was able to retain much of its vacation rental business. With tourism outside the two impacted islands still growing, and seemingly set for a strong winter season, Mr Rolle said reinsurance inflows and the government’s restoration spend were likely to offset the traditional seasonal drawdown on The Bahamas’ $1.5bn foreign currency reserves. He acknowledged that 2020 was when The Bahamas might see “a small economic contraction or zero growth” as the reconstruction effort began in earnest.

To advertise in The Tribune, contact 502-2394

Current Gallery & Art Centre; The Sanctuary; more than 30 retail outlets; and Baha Mar Residences. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar features 1,800 rooms, including 230 luxury suites, across the east and west towers. SLS Baha Mar has 299 rooms and suites, with guests having access to two pools, a bungalow pool and Privilege, which doubles as a day club. Rosewood Baha Mar features 237 rooms and suites, as well as beachfront villas designed to portray Bahamian culture. Rosewood guests have exclusive access to a private beachfront, Sense Spa and pool. The Readers’ Choice Awards give Condé Nast Traveler readers the opportunity to vote on their

favourite resorts, hotels, cities, cruise ships and islands. This year, more than 420,000 readers

shared their preferred travel brands and destinations through the Readers’ Choice Award surveys.


PAGE 6, Friday, October 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

One-cent’s end ‘rounding’ into regulation query FROM PAGE ONE as legal tender by end-2020, said it had yet to receive any “indicative feedback” from the government’s consumer protection agencies on whether a regulatory regime stipulating a “harmonised approach” to “rounding” is necessary. Pointing out that any regulations would have to be enacted before yearend 2020, the Central Bank governor said: “We will be working with the minister responsible for consumer affairs [Dion Foulkes] as to whether any regulations are needed around the harmonised approach businesses should take around rounding. “We’ve alerted them to the process. The way we’ve planned it, we’re going to look at, first, whether it’s necessary. We’ve alerted them to that possibility and, if they’re required, they have to be in place before the end of 2020. “We’ve not got any feedback indicative of how they view the process. We don’t anticipate any issues there. It’s The Bahamas looking at how the process takes place in other countries, and the extent to which we may need

other legal guidelines.” The two most relevant government agencies will be the Price Control Commission and Consumer Protection Commission, both of which come under Mr Foulkes’s ministry and are touched by the fall-out for both Bahamian businesses and consumers from the one-cent’s end. The Central Bank’s current “rounding” guidelines for cash payments, where a consumer bill does not end in zero or five cents, stipulate that transactions ending in the digits one or two will be rounded to zero; those ending in three, four, six and seven will be rounded to five; and those ending in eight or nine rounded up to ten. Mr Rolle again reiterated that the one-cent coin’s end, and the Central Bank’s “rounding” approach, will not result in price increases. “We don’t anticipate at any level that removing the penny from circulation will result in higher prices. That’s not the result,” he said. He added that “the Central Bank has begun the process of removing the onecent coin from circulation” by stopping its production,

with its issuance to the commercial banks set to cease by end-January 2020. That date coincides with when it begins to withdraw the 54 year-old one cent from circulation. Mr Rolle said a notice in the Government Gazette, stating that one-cent coins were no longer legal tender, would be published prior to this taking effect by endDecember 2020. Consumers will be able to redeem their one-cent coins until endJune 2021. The Central Bank governor said “businesses can decide at any point when to stop accepting pennies”, although they have to develop “appropriate in-store signage” to show when this will take effect and how “rounding” works. The “rounding” should take place on the total bill, with existing price points staying the same, while the amount of VAT levied is also not impacted. “There are lots of reasons this process is being embarked upon,” Mr Rolle said. “The key one is that it is not economically or financially viable to keep producing the coin.”  He pointed out that the costs of producing the onecent coin were four percent greater than its “face value”, and totalled nearly $500,000 per year. “That’s material if you look at it over a five to 10-year period,” the Central Bank governor said. With 700 million one-cent

coins, worth a collective $7m, having been issued since 1966, Mr Rolle added: “At least half the coins we issued cumulatively over the years, we don’t expect anyone knows where they are. We believe half of those can no longer be found. They are already lost. “On a daily basis persons discard the pennies they receive. Eight percent of those coins are discarded immediately that they are received at the cash register.” Persons seeking to redeem their one-cent coins before end-June 2021 can do so at banks and credit unions, and through Post Office branches in the Family Islands. So-called “redemption machines” will also be placed in grocery stores and other “high-trafficked” locations in New Providence and Grand Bahama, where consumers can deposit their coins, see them sorted and receive a credit for Bahamian currency “only”.  Mr Rolle emphasised that foreign coins are not part of the redemption process, and said he expected the circulation of one cent US coins to also phase out alongside the local changes. He added that the onecent’s end as legal tender had no association with the Central Bank’s drive to encourage Bahamians to move to electronic payments as their primary transaction method.

LEGAL NOTICE

LEGAL NOTICE

NOTICE

NOTICE

SBM BAHAMAS LIMITED

COMOPCO LTD.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN as follows:

(a) SBM BAHAMAS LIMITED is in dissolution under the provisions of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(a) COMOPCO LTD. is in dissolution under the provisions of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b) The dissolution of the said Company commenced on the 9th day of October, 2019 when its Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(b) The dissolution of the said Company commenced on the 9th day of October, 2019 when its Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General.

(c) The Liquidator of the said Company is Mr. Philippe Baffreau of Evert van de Beekstraat 1-77, 1118 CL Schiphol, The Netherlands.

(c) The Liquidator of the said Company is Mr. Philippe Baffreau of Evert van de Beekstraat 1-77, 1118 CL Schiphol, The Netherlands.

H & J CORPORATE SERVICES LTD. Registered Agent for the above-named Company

H & J CORPORATE SERVICES LTD. Registered Agent for the above-named Company

www.bisxbahamas.com

(242) 323-2330

NOTICE

NOTICE is hereby given that DYLON ANTHONY GRANT of John Chipman Street, Nassau, Bahamas is applying to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, for Registration Naturalization as a citizen of The Bahamas, and that any person who knows any reason why registration/ naturalization should not be granted, should send a written and signed statement of the facts within twenty-eight days from the 4th day of October, 2019 to the Minister responsible for Nationality and Citizenship, P.O. Box N-7147, Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas.

LEGAL NOTICE International Business Companies Act (No. 45 of 2000) Congonhas Investment Fund Ltd. (the “Company”)

(242) 323-2320

ALL SHARE INDEX: CLOSE: 2,176.17 | CHG: -0.02 | %CHG: 0.00 | YTD: 66.72 | YTD%: 3.16 BISX LISTED & TRADED SECURITIES 52WK HI 4.45 22.65 7.00 5.92 2.60 2.00 5.47 11.75 6.17 4.64 12.40 2.81 3.50 10.18 7.51 16.50 9.30 3.64 14.20

52WK LOW 3.50 20.91 4.90 4.46 1.01 0.22 2.00 9.25 6.15 3.60 6.75 2.35 1.76 7.51 6.10 12.10 6.20 3.01 13.00

SECURITY AML Foods Limited APD Limited Bahamas Property Fund Bahamas Waste Bank of Bahamas Benchmark Cable Bahamas CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank Colina Holdings Commonwealth Bank Commonwealth Brewery Consolidated Water BDRs Doctor's Hospital Emera Incorporated Famguard Fidelity Bank Finco Focol J. S. Johnson

SYMBOL AML APD BPF BWL BOB BBL CAB CIB CHL CBL CBB CWCB DHS EMAB FAM FBB FIN FCL JSJ

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00

Cable Bahamas Series 6 Cable Bahamas Series 8 Cable Bahamas Series 9 Cable Bahamas Series 10 Colina Holdings Class A Fidelity Bank Class A Focol Class B

CAB6 CAB8 CAB9 CAB10 CHLA FBBA FCLB

PREFERENCE SHARES

1.00 10.00 1.00

1.00 10.00 1.00

CORPORATE DEBT - (percentage pricing) 52WK HI 100.00

52WK LOW 100.00

115.92 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

104.79 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

52WK HI 2.26 4.31 2.07 191.61 158.55 1.65 1.82 1.74 1.21 8.01 9.60 6.83 11.39 12.30 10.68 10.00 8.69 11.79

52WK LOW 1.67 3.04 1.68 164.74 116.70 1.58 1.69 1.66 1.09 6.41 7.62 5.66 8.65 10.54 9.57 9.88 8.45 11.20

SECURITY Fidelity Bank Note 22 (Series B) +

SYMBOL FBB22

Bahamas Note 6.95 (2029) BGS: 2015-1-3Y BGS: 2014-12-5Y BGS: 2015-1-5Y BGS: 2014-12-7Y BGS: 2015-1-7Y BGS: 2014-12-30Y BGS: 2015-1-30Y BGS: 2015-6-3Y BGS: 2015-6-5Y BGS: 2015-6-7Y BGS: 2015-6-30Y BGS: 2015-10-3Y BGS: 2015-10-5Y BGS: 2015-10-7Y

BAH29 BG0203 BG0105 BG0205 BG0107 BG0207 BG0130 BG0230 BG0303 BG0305 BG0307 BG0330 BG0403 BG0405 BG0407

BAHAMAS GOVERNMENT STOCK - (percentage pricing)

MUTUAL FUNDS

MARKET TERMS

LAST CLOSE 4.10 17.43 6.00 5.92 2.46 1.80 4.80 11.06 6.16 3.98 7.26 3.28 3.50 10.64 7.51 16.50 9.27 3.54 14.20

CLOSE 4.10 17.43 6.00 5.92 2.46 1.80 4.80 11.06 6.16 3.98 7.26 3.24 3.50 10.66 7.51 16.50 9.27 3.54 14.20

CHANGE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 -0.04 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1.00 10.00 1.00

1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1000.00 1.00 10.00 1.00

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

LAST SALE 100.00

CLOSE 100.00

CHANGE 0.00

107.31 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

107.31 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

FUND CFAL Bond Fund CFAL Balanced Fund CFAL Money Market Fund CFAL Global Bond Fund CFAL Global Equity Fund Leno Preferred Income Fund Leno Growth Fund Leno Diversified Fund Leno Global USD Bond Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Secured Balanced Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Targeted Equity Fund Royal Fidelity Bahamas Opportunities Fund - Prime Income Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - Equities Sub Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - High Yield Fund Royal Fidelity Int'l Fund - Alternative Strategies Fund Colonial Bahamas Fund Class D Colonial Bahamas Fund Class E Colonial Bahamas Fund Class F

BISX ALL SHARE INDEX - 19 Dec 02 = 1,000.00 52wk-Hi - Highest closing price in last 52 weeks 52wk-Low - Lowest closing price in last 52 weeks Previous Close - Previous day's weighted price for daily volume Today's Close - Current day's weighted price for daily volume Change - Change in closing price from day to day Daily Vol. - Number of total shares traded today DIV $ - Dividends per share paid in the last 12 months P/E - Closing price divided by the last 12 month earnings

VOLUME

300 10,000

1,000

VOLUME

NAV 2.26 4.29 2.07 191.61 158.33 1.65 1.82 1.74 1.19 8.01 9.60 6.83 11.30 12.30 10.68 9.92 8.68 11.38

EPS$ 0.239 0.932 1.760 0.369 0.070 0.000 -0.438 0.722 0.449 0.184 0.140 0.102 0.467 0.646 0.728 0.816 0.939 0.203 0.631

DIV$ 0.170 1.260 0.000 0.250 0.000 0.020 0.000 0.720 0.220 0.120 0.000 0.434 0.060 0.328 0.240 0.540 0.200 0.120 0.610

0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

P/E 17.2 18.7 N/M 16.0 N/M N/M -11.0 15.3 13.7 21.6 51.9 31.8 7.5 16.5 10.3 20.2 9.9 17.4 22.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

YIELD 4.15% 7.23% 0.00% 4.22% 0.00% 1.11% 0.00% 6.51% 3.57% 3.02% 0.00% 13.40% 1.71% 3.08% 3.20% 3.27% 2.16% 3.39% 4.30% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 6.25% 7.00% 6.50%

INTEREST Prime + 1.75%

MATURITY 19-Oct-2022

6.95% 4.00% 4.25% 4.25% 4.50% 4.50% 6.25% 6.25% 4.00% 4.25% 4.50% 6.25% 3.50% 3.88% 4.25%

20-Nov-2029 30-Jul-2018 16-Dec-2019 30-Jul-2020 15-Dec-2021 30-Jul-2022 15-Dec-2044 30-Jul-2045 26-Jun-2018 26-Jun-2020 26-Jun-2022 26-Jun-2045 15-Oct-2018 15-Oct-2020 15-Oct-2022

YTD% 12 MTH% 2.46% 3.85% 1.61% 3.28% 1.78% 2.75% 3.85% 6.28% 7.12% 2.08% 2.88% 3.80% 4.56% 6.50% 3.35% 4.17% 5.77% 7.89% 7.17% 8.76% 11.07% 12.58% 3.50% 4.96% 8.92% -0.97% 5.22% 5.44% 2.95% 2.64% -0.71% 0.16% 7.40% 2.70% 10.20% 1.30%

NAV Date 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 30-Aug-2019 30-Jun-2019 30-Jun-2019 30-Sep-2019 30-Sep-2019 30-Sep-2019 30-Sep-2019 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 31-Aug-2019 30-Mar-2019 30-Mar-2019 30-Mar-2019

YIELD - last 12 month dividends divided by closing price Bid $ - Buying price of Colina and Fidelity Ask $ - Selling price of Colina and fidelity Last Price - Last traded over-the-counter price Weekly Vol. - Trading volume of the prior week EPS $ - A company's reported earnings per share for the last 12 mths NAV - Net Asset Value N/M - Not Meaningful

tender while likely cause something of a culture shock, especially among elder Bahamians accustomed to using it. Mr Rolle said he “did not expect” the Central Bank’s consultation paper on the issue, already released, to have “gained the level of attention” it had done.

Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with Section 138 (8) of the International Business Companies Act, No.45 of 2000, the Dissolution of Congonhas Investment Fund Ltd. has been completed, a Certificate of Dissolution has been issued and the Company has therefore been struck off the Register. The date of completion of the Dissolution was the 4th October, 2019.

MARKET REPORT THURSDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2019

“There’s no deliberate effort to use this to get Bahamians to move to electronic banking,” Mr Rolle said. “This is a reform that would be sensible even if we remain a very high cash-based economy or went more in the direction of using cash.” The one-cent’s end as legal

Luciane Ribeiro Moreno Liquidator PKF BAHAMAS QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANTS REQUIRED PKF Bahamas, an International Accounting Firm, seeks to recruit senior professional qualified persons with recognized accounting qualifications, and trainee accountants. Qualified persons must be eligible for membership in The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants and must have at least two (2) or three (3) years post qualification experience. Only Bahamians need apply. Preference will be given to applicants with proven audit and assurance experience. Salary and benefits subject to negotiation. Please apply in writing to: Human Resources Partner PKF Bahamas P. O. Box N-8335, Nassau, Bahamas.

LEGAL NOTICE

NOTICE INTERNATIONAL PHILATELIC COMPANY LTD.

NOTICE is hereby given as follows: (a)

International Philatelic Company Ltd. is in Voluntary Dissolution under the provisions of Section 138(4) of the International Business Companies Act 2000.

(b)

The Dissolution of the said Company commenced when the Articles of Dissolution were submitted to and registered by the Registrar General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

(c)

The Liquidator of the said Company is Beatus Limited, P.O. Box N7776-348, N.P., Bahamas.

Dated this 11th day of October, 2019

TO TRADE CALL: CFAL 242-502-7010 | ROYALFIDELITY 242-356-7764 | COLONIAL 242-502-7525 | LENO 242-396-3225 | BENCHMARK 242-326-7333

Beatus Limited Liquidator


THE TRIBUNE

‘Don’t spend before necessary’ on Dorian FROM PAGE ONE cause affected communities to restore to normalcy as quickly as possible. It’s saying it’s important to appreciate the restoration effort is not six to 12 months to the end of the fiscal year, but a more multi-year project.” Mr Bowe said the government needed to deploy sufficient resources in proportion to the needs of, and what was happening in, the Dorian-impacted areas. Given that many areas of Abaco, in particular, had already depopulated he suggested it made no sense to immediately offer a full menu of government services. “We must be deliberate,” he reiterated. “It’s not spending over the next six months; it’s over the next three to five years to restore these places to where they were before.” Mr Bowe suggested The Bahamas adopt the approach the US followed in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, where communities, businesses and infrastructure were restored in a phased, systematic way. “You have to make sure you balance the distribution of funds with what’s in those locations,” Mr Bowe told Tribune Business. “There’s recognition of that. The numbers should be seen as what we have to do, and we have to develop a strategy to create least disruption to fiscal performance.” Mr Turnquest told the House of Assembly that the Ministry of Finance’s preliminary estimates forecast a more-than-quadrupling of the 2019-2020 fiscal deficit compared to budget projections back in May. He said Dorian was now likely to wipe out $215m, or eight percent, of fullyear revenues while extra spending to rebuild utility infrastructure, public health clinics, temporary housing and to deliver government services in the impacted areas was pegged

at just over $222m. While Abaco, at 6.4 percent, and Grand Bahama at 7.3 percent, collectively accounted for 13.7 percent of total government revenues in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, Mr Turnquest said the two islands’ contributions had “always been an important component for delivering on the government’s overall budgetary projections”. He added: “Early estimates prepared by the Ministry of Finance point to a revenue shortfall of nearly $215m, or eight percent of the overall revenue projected for fiscal year 2019-2020 as a direct result of Hurricane Dorian. “When it comes to spending, initial estimates show we will need to spend an additional $222.4m, with a split of $80.9m for recurrent spending and $141.5m for capital. These funds will primarily be used for rebuilding critical infrastructure on Abaco and Grand Bahama, including electricity and water services, the reconstruction of affected medical facilities, the construction of temporary housing and the delivery of targeted government services and assistance to affected populations.” Totalling up the extent of the damage, Mr Turnquest told the House: “Given that our revised projected revenue will be in the region of $2.414bn, and expenditure at $2.988bn as a result of Hurricane Dorian, the fiscal deficit for fiscal year 2019-2020 is likely to be nearly $573.4m, or an elevated 4.5 percent of GDP. “This exceeds the $137m, or 1 percent fiscal target, as prescribed by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.” The Act requires the government to present a fiscal adjustment plan as a result of this miss, detailing the measures it will take to get its consolidation plan back on track and estimates of how long it will take to do so.

APPLE HAS A LOT TO LOSE IF IT CROSSES CHINA’S PARTY BOSSES HONG KONG Associated Press UNDER pressure from China, Apple has removed a smartphone app that enabled Hong Kong protesters to track police. It has cut off access in mainland China to a news app that extensively covered the anti-government demonstrations. And it has made it harder to find an emoji representing the Taiwanese national flag. The tech company’s latest acts of capitulation to China’s ruling Communist Party have alienated some Hong Kong consumers and angered democracy activists around the world. But the truth is, few US companies have as much of their business tethered to China as Apple. “That’s the price you pay if you want to be in the market,” said Matt Schrader, a China analyst for the Alliance for Securing Democracy at the German Marshall Fund. “You have to abide by demands to censor information: anything that paints the party or its history, or its top leaders, in an unflattering light, or disagrees with their preferred portrayal of China as a country.” Apple relies on Chinese factories to assemble iPhones, which

generate most of the company’s profits. Apple has also cultivated a loyal following in the country. China has emerged as the company’s third-largest market behind the US and Europe, accounting for 20% of its sales during its past fiscal year. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has already complicated things for Apple, raising fears that Beijing will impose measures to hurt Apple in retaliation for US tariffs on Chinese products and sanctions against Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant. Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent much of the past year walking a thin line, trying to prod a truce between the US and China while also trying to protect his company’s interests. His efforts so far have largely paid off, helping to shield the iPhone from being hit by tariffs in either the US or China. But that could change in mid-December, when the Trump administration has promised to expand import duties on more consumer electronics. With the specter of those tariffs, Apple has even more of an incentive to placate China’s government and avoid provoking

Friday, October 11, 2019, PAGE 7

A PERSON’s phone shows HKmap.live apps as they join others at a rally to mark Taiwan’s National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong yesterday. A Hong Kong government official said yesterday that Apple was responsible for removing a smartphone application which allowed activists to report police movements. Photo: Kin Cheung/AP Beijing. In a worst-case scenario, analysts have estimated retaliatory action from China could cut Apple’s profit 10% to 20%. That would translate into a loss of $6bn to $12bn in a single year, based on Apple’s profits last year. Apple defended its decision yesterday to pull the police-tracking HKmap.live from its online app store. For some people in Hong Kong, the app was a handy tool that helped steer them away from possible baton charges, volleys of tear gas and police ID checks. But the company said the app “has been used to target and ambush police” and “threaten public safety”. “Criminals have used it to victimise residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” Apple said. “This app violates our guidelines and local laws.” Yesterday’s move followed pressure from various channels, including the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily, which asked: “Is Apple guiding

Hong Kong thugs?” Hong Kong’s crisis has put pressure on those doing business with China to take sides. The protests were triggered by a now-abandoned government plan to allow criminal suspects to be extradited for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts in mainland China. It has escalated into a broader battle over Beijing’s efforts to curb the Western-style civil liberties and autonomy promised to the former British colony when it returned to China in 1997. Beijing’s criticism of Apple followed government attacks last weekend on the NBA over a tweet by the general manager of the Houston Rockets in support of the protesters. China’s state TV cancelled broadcasts of NBA games. One of the police-tracking app’s users, Hong Kong office worker Acko Wong, 26, scoffed at the suggestion that the app helped give free rein to criminals. “How do you ambush a group of police with equipment and gear like helmets and shields?” he asked.


PAGE 8, Friday, October 11, 2019

THE TRIBUNE

California businesses face reality of electrical outages SONOMA Associated Press RETAILERS and other businesses, from hardware chains to coffee shops, are dealing with a new economic reality of electrical outages in Northern California. Many struggled to keep their businesses open on the second day after the nation’s biggest utility Pacific Gas & Electric cut off power to more than a million people to mitigate the risk of wildfires as heavy winds sweep through. Home improvement chains Lowe’s and Home Depot said their stores have been busy with people seeking generators, batteries and flashlights. Both companies said their stores are open and that they are working to bring more emergency supplies to the affected areas. But for many mom and pop outlets, it was even more of a struggle as they can’t rely on sophisticated distribution centers to keep restocking shelves. Workers at both small businesses and big chains turned to creative ways to serve customers either in the dark or with limited power from generators. They tabulated sales on a piece of paper. They brought flashlights to work, and guided customers to dark areas of the store to help them find batteries and other emergency supplies. Friedman’s Home Improvement store in Sonoma, California lost power on Wednesday, but remained open with a limited amount of electricity from generators. Employees with flashlights and head lamps took customers

into the darkened store to buy batteries, power cords, flashlights and other items. Barry Friedman, whose family owns four Friedman’s stores, said local schools are closed, so many employees have childcare issues. “Making sure we’re there for our community and making sure we’re there for our team members is really complex for a business owner right now,” Friedman said. “We’re working on getting products here as quickly as possible to serve the community. So a lot of complexities with this power shutdown.” Sonoma resident Judy Fontana, who works at a catering company, was one of many residents working on laptops and charging their devices at an auditorium at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall. She said her home and office don’t have electricity or internet connectivity. “Wind is going to happen, and now we’re going to have days and days with inconvenience and this is not sustainable,” Fontana said. “We’re all losing money. A lot of businesses are closed today because there’s no power. So it’s affecting a lot more than anyone thought it would.” The impact of the outage on the US economy will likely be small, economists say, unless it lasts for much longer or spreads to many more households. Many stores, restaurants and other businesses have had to close, but most of the spending that would have taken place will likely be made up when stores reopen, said Ben Herzon, an economist at forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers. And the rush to

A SIGN at Mary’s Pizza Shack informs customers of their closure due to a PG&E power shutdown in Sonoma, Calif, on Wednesday. Pacific Gas & Electric has cut power to more than half a million customers in Northern California hoping to prevent wildfires during dry, windy weather throughout the region. buy food, bottled water, and backup generators gave many stores a boost before the power was cut off. “When you average it into the national figures, it’s going to be hard to detect,” Herzon said. The electricity shutoff itself will reduce the amount PG&E customers spend on power, which could translate into a loss of about $100m in spending in the fourth quarter, Herzon calculates. But that won’t move the needle on the nation’s economic output. The shutdown is similar to hurricanes in many ways: Shoppers rush to stores in preparation for the storm. Business then grinds to a near-halt after the storm hits. And most of the postponed spending eventually happens. But hurricanes also do far more damage, including to

power lines, and it can take much longer to restore electricity. Once PG&E decides to restore power, it will be much easier for them to do so compared to if a storm had occurred. Still, industry officials said they weren’t given a lot of advance warning to prepare. Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailer’s Association, an industry trade group, said her members received 11 hours’ notice. Supermarkets that lose perishable foods will likely have to eat the costs themselves, said Ronald Fong, CEO of the California Grocers Association. Insurance doesn’t typically cover planned power outages, only outages caused by a natural disaster like an earthquake, Fong said. Gary Minteer, retail consultant for hardware

chain True Value, says the chain had stocked up on emergency supplies like generators at its distribution center in California knowing that PG&E could shut off electricity. He says that unlike wildfires and earthquakes, this outage affected a broader swath of people. “What makes this different is that it’s so widespread,” he added. He says businesses worked hard to keep their doors opened, including a barber he saw move his business on the sidewalk. Minteer serves as consultant to 30 True Value stores in the Northern California areas, including 18 that had no electricity because of the outage. All 18 have stayed open, with half of them using generators, he said. He said True Value is using this experience to better

prepare for future outages. One lesson learned? The chain needs to stock up on beef jerky. “We sold a year’s worth of beef jerky in two days,” he added. In the meantime, workers in Northern California have to keep improvising. Candice DeVries brought a flashlight with her to work at 4.30am yesterday when her shift started as a supervisor at a Starbucks in El Dorado Hills, a suburb in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento. It turned out the power worked there, but surrounding neighbourhoods were dark. About a half-dozen residents were lined up by the time the doors opened at 5am, with more driving by or calling to see if the store was open, since another Starbucks a few minutes away was without power and had to stay closed. “We already made our sales goal for the day. We’ve run out of a lot of our food,” she said shortly before 1pm. “We’ve had an abundance of people the whole town. Even this lobby is filled to the max more than normal.” Starbucks managers from both stores were huddled in back, working on getting more supplies if the outages continued, as expected, for at least another day. Aside from the orders, a lot of the customers working on laptops in the store were “new faces”, DeVries said, apparent refugees from the outages. “We’re their saving grace, so we’re glad to give them their morning coffee and their breakfast, “ DeVries said.

Profile for tribune242

10112019 BUSINESS  

10112019 BUSINESS  

Advertisement