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Visionaire conference tells businesses how to survive, thrive

Echoing English novelist Charles Dickens, former attorney General Tennyson Wells admitted that these are the best and worst of times “depending on where one sat.” 

Thursday, October 28, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Business leaders and entrepreneurs were told how they could “Survive and Thrive in 2010 and Beyond” during the second annual conference hosted by Visionaire Marketing.

“History has shown that some of the world’s most famous businesses, such as Microsoft, General Electric, Fortune Magazine and FedEx, were started during recessions, and if they made it, so can we,” said event organizer, Anastacia Stubbs in welcoming attendees to the all-day event held at the British Colonial Hilton. She encouraged business owners to reposition their organizations in order to ascend to the “next level.”

In his address to delegates, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard acknowledged that there were some niche markets that seemed able to succeed even in tough economic times.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Brent Symonette noted that many business owners have entered into “survival mode.” Labelling himself “an eternal optimist,” Symonette said he was convinced brighter days are ahead. He said that is why the government has jump-started major infrastructural works, such as the airport upgrade and the New Providence road improvement project, so that The Bahamas would be in a position to take advantage of new business opportunities during a global economic recovery.

Echoing English novelist Charles Dickens, former attorney General Tennyson Wells admitted that these are the best and worst of times “depending on where one sat.” In his remarks, Wells–the president of Sanctuary Investments, Lyford Hills and Echo Water–stressed the importance of providing excellent customer service, honesty in dealing with clients and being prudent with time and resources.

Another key speaker, Dionisio D’Aguilar added further to that list of business essentials. “Make sure you pay off the people you owe before you enjoy the fruits of your labour,” he said, adding that it takes a long time to grow a businesses. D’Aguilar noted that Superwash–a laundry business started by his father and uncle in 1968–took 20 years to grow its sales to $1.7 million.

The highlight of the conference was the presentation of awards to outstanding businesses that, over the years, contributed to the growth and development of The Bahamas. Honourees included Joan Albury, president of The Counsellors Ltd and Silbert Mills, chief executive officer of The Bahamas Christian Network. Bahamas Fast Ferries was also honoured.

Companies help Customs Department iron out the kinks in the new online, automated customs system. To date, six shipping companies and two brokers are using the file transfer method. Three companies are utilizing the custom’s website.

Panel discussion at energy forum addresses emerging technologies and possible solutions to the region's growing waste disposal problems, and calls for government support.

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