Business calendar for week of May 28 - Bradenton Herald Business calendar for week of May 28 - Bradenton Herald

Monday, May 28, 2012

Business calendar for week of May 28 - Bradenton Herald

Business calendar for week of May 28 - Bradenton Herald


Women business meeting: Women Owners of Florida Inc will at noon Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 8270 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. The meeting will be the first held at the new venue.

Jobs agency meeting: Suncoast Workforce has scheduled its board meeting for 8 a.m. Thursday at Suncoast Workforce, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota. For information, contact Tracey Barta at 941-358-4080, ext. 1111, or

Entrepreneur workshop: Manasota SCORE will host a Simple Grow Workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the ComCenter, 9040 Town Center Parkway, Lakewood Ranch. Topic: Growing Sales -- designed for entrepreneurs already in business who need assistance in specific areas to help accelerate and improve performance. Cost is $25. Register at or 941-955-1029.

Entrepreneur workshop: Manasota SCORE will host a Simple Start Workshop For Entrepreneurs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. June 4 at Argosy University, 5250 17th St., Sarasota. Topic: Final Projections -- the fourth workshop in a series of five designed to teach the tools and techniques for the planning and startup of a new business. Cost is $25. Register at or 941-955-1029.

Networking event: The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance will host its June networking event from 5 to 7 p.m. June 6 at The Broken Egg in Lakewood Ranch. The event is free for members and $20 for nonmembers. Register in advance at or contact or call Amanda at 941-757-1671.

Fundraising meeting: The Association of Fundraising Professionals Southwest Florida Chapter will host Patricia Courtois, president and COO of Clarke Advertising and Public Relations, as the speaker for its luncheon at 11:30 a.m. June 12 at Michael's On East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. To register, go to or contact Kim Noyes at 941-921-5410 or via email at

Taxes event: The Manasota Chapter of the Florida Society of Enrolled Agents has scheduled its monthly meeting for 4 p.m. June 13 at Troyer's Dutch Heritage, 3713 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota. The speaker this month is Jeff Schneider, who will discuss divorce and taxes. The cost for nonmembers is $30. To RSVP, contact Ben Cooper at 941-713-9190 or

Jobs agency meeting: Suncoast Workforce has scheduled its executive committee meeting for 8 a.m. June 14 at Suncoast Workforce, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota. For information, contact Tracey Barta, 941-358-4080, ext. 1111, or

Chamber event: The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, and University of South Florida alumni and staff have scheduled the first Bulls, Blues and BBQ event June 14. Attendees from Sarasota and Manatee will enjoy networking, live blues music and barbecue from chamber member restaurants. For more information and to register, contact Jamie Overmiller at or 941-556-4034.

Jobs agency meeting: Suncoast Workforce has scheduled its youth council committee meeting for 3:30 p.m. June 17 at Suncoast Workforce, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota. For information, contact Dee LeBoff, 941-358-4080 ext. 3119 or

SCORE Workshop: Manasota SCORE will host a "Building Your Business Plan" workshop at 9 a.m. June 23 at the ComCenter, 9040 Town Center Parkway, Lakewood Ranch. The class is designed for entrepreneurs who want to plan for new business growth and find out how web technology can help attract and retain customers. The cost is $25. Register at or 941-955-1029.

SCORE Workshop: Manasota SCORE will host a "Web Site Basics" seminar at 5:30 p.m. June 25 at Argosy University, 5250 17th St., Sarasota. The class is designed for entrepreneurs who want to plan for new business growth and find out how web technology can help attract and retain customers. The cost is $25. Register at or 941-955-1029.

Marketing luncheon: Bonnie Merrill Limbach, director of communications strategy for the Sarasota marketing firm Next-Mark LLC, will deliver the keynote speech at the Central West Coast Florida Public Relations Association luncheon at 11:30 a.m. June 26 at the Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. RSVP at

Suncoast Workforce has scheduled its board meeting for 8 a.m. June 28 at Suncoast Workforce, 3660 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota. For information, contact Tracey Barta, 941-358-4080 ext. 1111 or


Action Business Club: meets 7:30-9 a.m., first and third Tuesdays, at River Club Country Club, 6600 River Club Blvd.

American Business Women's Association 1st Class Chapter: meets at 5:30 p.m. the first Tuesday for networking and at 6 p.m. for dinner, Bradenton Country Club, 4646 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton. Dinner is $20. Contact Sharone Martinelli at 941-720-2380.

Manatee WCR Toastmasters Club: meets 6:30-8 p.m. first and third Mondays at Bible Baptist Church, 2113 Morgan Johnson Road, Bradenton. Contact Steve Zeris at 941-518-6450.

Michael Valley: local Edward Jones financial adviser, hosts a coffee club 9-10 a.m. the first Tuesday at 3226 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach.

S.W.A.T. Networking: Successful Women Aligning Together meets for lunch from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month in Bradenton at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W. and the second Tuesday of each month at the River Club in Lakewood Ranch, 6600 River Club Blvd. Cost is $10 for members and $15 for guests in Bradenton, and $11 for members $16 for guests in Lakewood Ranch. Bring business cards and brochures to share. Information: 941-748-6868, or



Best of Lakewood Ranch: networking event. 5:30-7 p.m., Longwoodrun Grill & Pub, 5802 Longwoodrun Blvd., Sarasota. Call 941-388-7613.

Lassen's Leads Club-Business Partners of Sarasota Chapter: noon-1:15 p.m., Hillview Grill, 1920 Hillview St., Sarasota. $12 fee includes lunch. Contact Wendy Moore at 941-371-1151 or or see

Lassen's Leads Club-Sarasota Women's Chapter: noon-1:15 p.m., 1920 Hillview St., Sarasota. $12 fee includes lunch. Contact Wendy Moore at 941-371-1151 or, or see

Open Network Manasota: networking and lunch. 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., The Bearded Clam, 7150 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $12 admission includes lunch. Call 941-504-9525.


Business Networking International-Circle of Success Chapter: networking 7-9 a.m., Bradenton Country Club, 4646 Ninth Ave. W., Bradenton. $10, includes breakfast. Contact Dave Strickland, 941-545-1103 or or see

Business Networking International-Lakewood Ranch Chapter: networking 7:30-9 a.m., Polo Grill and Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch. First visit free and includes continental breakfast. Contact Michael Miele, 941-907-3828 or, or see

Lassen's Leads Club-Sarasota Professionals Chapter: 12:15-1:30 p.m., Mediterranean, 1970 Main St., No. 1, Sarasota. $14, includes lunch. Contact Wendy Moore, 941-371-1151 or, or visit

Lassen's Leads Club-West Coast Professionals Chapter: noon-1:15 p.m., IHOP, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Two member businesses speak each week; visiting businesses can present their services. Menu pricing. Contact Wendy Moore, 941-371-1151 or, or visit


Lakewood Ranch Professional Women's Networking Group: 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., River Club Cabana on the Green Restaurant, 6600 River Club Blvd. $12.50, includes lunch. RSVP by previous Tuesday with Elaine, 941-961-0559. Information:

Suncoast Business Alliance Bradenton: 7:45 a.m., Perkins Restaurant, 6023 14th St. W., Bradenton. Register at


Best of Lakewood Ranch: networking event. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Longwoodrun Grill & Pub, 5802 Longwoodrun Blvd., Sarasota. Information: 941-388-7613.

Executive Network of Manatee: leads/referral group, 7:30 a.m., Days Inn Restaurant, 3506 First St. W., Bradenton. Contact or visit

Fox Business Group LLC: learn and lunch and networking meeting, noon-1 p.m., Country Pancake House and Restaurant, 8205 Natures Way, Lakewood Ranch. Contact Andy Fox at 941-758-2404 or


Manasota Business Network: business support network, 8-9 a.m., Jennifer's Restaurant, 1401 Manatee Ave. W., No. 103, Bradenton. Seeking informational speakers and guests interested in becoming members. Contact Susan Humphreys at 941-737-1233 or


Senior Corps of Retired Executives-Counselors to America's Small Business: one-on-one free counseling sessions for anyone starting a business or struggling with their business. Tuesdays at Manatee Chamber of Commerce-Lakewood Ranch, 4215 Concept Court, and Thursdays at Manatee Chamber of Commerce-Bradenton, 222 10th St. W. Appointments through Reba at 941-748-3411, ext. 100, or rebap@manatee

State College of Florida small business counseling sessions: 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, 1945 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Appointments at 941-955-2508, ext. 520.

Women's Resource Center of Manatee: free employment strategies programs including developing an effective job search, career exploration, networking, interviewing skills and resume review. At 1926 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Appointments at 941-747-6797.

To list a business meeting or event, email Josh Salman at Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday before publication; items must include full address of meeting place, date and time of event, and a telephone number.

Bradford's young talent shines at T&A business awards (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus) - Bradford Telegraph Argus

Bradford's young talent shines at T&A business awards

Bright young talent shone with the leading lights of Bradford’s business world at the glittering Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business Awards 2012.

Companies from across the district battled it out in 11 closely-fought categories, but the biggest winner of the night was Mark Robinson, 22, who scooped Young Entrepreneur of the Year and was declared Winner of Winners for setting up web-design firm Digital Green.

He said: “When I first set up I was operating out of my mum and gran’s house with three full-time staff.

“It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe I’ve won.”

Business bosses were joined by Lord Mayor Councillor Dale Smith, for Saturday’s awards ceremony at Aagrah’s Midpoint Suite, compered by former broadcaster Jon Hammond.

Telegraph & Argus editor Perry Austin-Clarke began proceedings with a speech, saying it was a night to celebrate “all that’s great about Bradford’s businesses”.

New leader of Bradford Council, Councillor Dave Green (Lab, Wibsey), said the room was full of people “committed to their businesses in Bradford”.

He said: “I want to put on record the fact that Bradford Council is committed to working with every single one of you to take forward your business and deliver for the people of Bradford and the businesses of Bradford.”

Keynote speaker Koert Tulleners, CEO of Freemans Grattan Holdings, spoke about his business background and how the catalogue company had adapted to a new digital age.

The awards started with Newlands Community Association picking up the Environment-Friendly Business of the Year award for its eco-friendly £4 million business park in Eccleshill, before Bradford Science Park-based Agenda 1 Analytical Services picked up Business or Technical Innovation of the Year.

Inventors Phil Wilson and his neighbour and business partner Chris Beltier, of Sandy Lane, looked thrilled to scoop New Business of the Year Award for their LeafSeat, a protective cover which stops car seats getting dirty.

Mother-of-two Louise Jefferies, of motorcycle dealership Allan Jefferies, in Baildon, looked shocked to be announced as the winner of the Woman in Business award.

Small Business of the Year went to Approach PR – a five-strong public relations company based in Little Germany.

One of the largest cheers of the night went to family business Summers Butchers in Clayton, Bradford, which won the Retail or Hospitality Business of the Year award.

Owner John Summers said: “We’re not just a business, we support the community and put a 100 per cent into what we do.”

Cleckheaton-based accountants Clough and Co won the Employer of the Year award, before Park House Healthcare was announced Medium or Large Business of the Year.

There were jubilant scenes as Balbir Panesar, the boss of PEC building and shopfitting, was declared Business Personality of the Year.

He said: “To be recognised in this way is a great honour and I think more of this should go on in Bradford.”

BUSINESS Q&A: Grilling was business owner's therapy before it became his living - Standard-Times
A chopped brisket sandwich topped with a sweet barbecue sauce is ready to be wrapped up for a customer at Reyes Smoked Meat Company BBQ Station. The restaurant specializes in smoked meats, and signature sauces offer sweet and spicy tastes.

Photo by Justin Zamudio

A chopped brisket sandwich topped with a sweet barbecue sauce is ready to be wrapped up for a customer at Reyes Smoked Meat Company BBQ Station. The restaurant specializes in smoked meats, and signature sauces offer sweet and spicy tastes.

Photos by Justin Zamudio/San Angelo Standard-Times
David Reyes, owner of Reyes Smoked Meat Company BBQ Station, checks on briskets, chicken and sausage on his smoker outside of his restaurant last week. The barbecue restaurant, 1827 W. Avenue N, recently opened and operates seven days a week.

Photo by Justin Zamudio

Photos by Justin Zamudio/San Angelo Standard-Times David Reyes, owner of Reyes Smoked Meat Company BBQ Station, checks on briskets, chicken and sausage on his smoker outside of his restaurant last week. The barbecue restaurant, 1827 W. Avenue N, recently opened and operates seven days a week.

What: Smoked barbecue with all the fixings restaurant.

Where: 1827 W. Avenue N.

When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

Contact: 325-656-3707.

— From the rustic looking door to the reason why David Reyes sells barbecue for a living shows that he has learned to improvise well over the years.

The morning after Mother's Day, just about two weeks after opening Reyes Smoked Meat Company BBQ Station, Reyes approached his business to the shocking sight of a shattered glass front door and a concrete block laying in the middle of the restaurant. Initially he figured the worst: his business was ransacked and cleaned out or vandalized throughout.

To his surprise everything seemed to be in order — the cash register was where it belonged and the kitchen equipment was the way he left it the night before. It wasn't until he opened the refrigerator that Reyes discovered the true intent of the crime. Two full briskets were missing from the fridge. After looking the restaurant over for anything else out of place he found one of the

two slabs of beef on a table in the back, but this one had a few bites chewed off one end of it.

"It was like he grabbed it like this (hoisting the bitten brisket with two hands and making a forward motion toward his mouth to bite the end of it). He ate into this brisket! He left the meat so we could see it. He could have hurt us a lot worse than this," said Joe Reyes, older brother/business partner to David, as he pulled that very brisket (crime evidence) from the refrigerator.

For a quick fix to the busted door, David Reyes and his brother bought some plywood and used it to build a new one attaching it to the broken glass frame. To reinforce it they nailed 1-by-4 fence boards to the door, which one customer said reminds him of his childhood growing up in Mexico and eating at his favorite restaurant. The brothers love the rustic look of the door and plan on keeping it that way.

Another way improvisation came in handy for David Reyes was when the TV/VCR repair industry started to tank.

About a decade ago David's wife got a job at Verizon, and he moved his TV/VCR repair business from Brady to San Angelo. He blames Walmart and its competitive rates of cheaper TVs why his repair business ultimately dissolved.

After working in wireless communications for a few years he started to get burned out on repeating the same process again and again. A getaway for him was when he would go home and fire up the barbecue pit and cook.

"When I would get done with work, I would go home and barbecue. It would keep me sane. It was my therapy — I enjoyed it," David Reyes said. "Eventually I learned smoking techniques. I knew quite a bit growing up because my uncle and dad would barbecue a lot when I was young.

"It's just fun to get up in the morning and start a fire."

About a year ago David decided to pursue cooking as his means of making a living. He built himself a small trailer and took it out during the day, mostly at the Big Lots parking lot in southwest San Angelo, but in the evenings would park outside a different nightclub or bar every night.

Because there wasn't much to the small trailer, which he called Pocket Palace, he sold cold pita bread sandwiches. Motivation from his wife to sell some of his "distinctively tasty" barbecue at his trailer eventually led to him building a compartment to keep his brisket warm. From that point on, the brisket took off and the pitas became an afterthought.

The trailer from then on was known as Reyes Smoked Meat Co., and had the slogan "We smoke Butts," which is referring to pork butt also known as the pig's shoulder. The slogan worked as it would drive potential customers to the trailer to find out exactly what it meant.

Over time the idea to expand his menu evolved into leasing a building for his popular meats, which include pig, cow, chicken, and on some days goat sausage.

"I'm not gonna lie, my food has a bite to it. My wife and kids will sometimes tell me that it's too hot, but that's just how I cook," David Reyes said. "The customers enjoy it. I have four different flavors: habanero (spiciest sauce), Reyes Republic (spicier sauce), Lion (least spicy sauce) and Sweet Meat BBQ sauce. Ladies love the HabaƱero sauce. That creation was my answer to people asking, 'Hey, you got anything hotter?' "

Standard-Times: How did you get your brother as a business partner?

David Reyes: He was doing printing and looking for a change, so I told him to come on over. He loves talking to people. He's more of a people person than I am. He just really enjoys people and barbecue.

What is the most challenging aspect of opening the business?

Family. It's like I live here. I have a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old. Being away from them is hard. Before, I would take them on service calls with me if I could (when working in wireless communication or repair calls). They visit me when they can, but tending to the restaurant takes up a lot of time.

Being so close to Angelo State University, how has business been since the semester ended?

We have had ASU students and staff come in, but most of our customers have been repeat customers who remember me from my trailer days. Either that or they heard from someone else — word-of-mouth works really well for us.

If the trailer business was picking up, why decide to move into a building?

It was tough because every night I would be out until three in the morning, and then you have to get up and get the kids to school. I did get to meet a lot of people and get them to taste my food. That's why I park my trailer outside so people recognize it from before. All the work I did last year has paid off this year. … Also it's a lot better because I don't have to deal with the wind, rain, cold, heat.

How do you set your barbecue restaurant apart from the plethora of other barbecue restaurants in town?

I think my sauces are different. They are not the commercial, off-the-shelf flavors. It's not a traditional barbecue sauce, and I like to keep it like that. A lot of my flavors have a Mexican twist to them that people need to experience.

Firms' financial health 'better than average' - Cornish Guardian

THE number of Plymouth companies going insolvent more than doubled last month – but there were just seven of them and the chance of more following is better than the national picture.

Statistics from Experian, the global information services company, reveal the insolvency figure jumped from just three in March, but despite this Plymouth had an insolvency rate of just 0.16 per cent in April.

Nationally, 1,564 businesses failed during last month, representing 0.08 per cent of the business population. The figures also showed all areas of the UK saw their average financial health score improve – from an average of 83.24 in April 2011 to 83.76 during April 2012.

The financial strength score predicts the likelihood of a business failing in the next 12 months, with 100 being the least likely to default and one being the most likely. For Plymouth, the figures stood at 84.1 in April.

An Experian spokesman said: "It is worth pointing out that the number of (Plymouth) insolvencies is small, so this figure isn't necessarily the best way to look at Plymouth's business community.

"The financial health score is perhaps a better way of looking at the bigger picture.

"It shows the average financial health of the all businesses that are still in existence – and it's higher than the national average."

In Plymouth, 60 businesses became insolvent during the 13 months from April 2011 to last month.

The worst month was November, when 11 companies failed, an insolvency rate of 0.26 per cent. The financial health score that month was 83.69.

Last month was the next worse in terms of insolvencies.

The best figures were recorded in May last year, when just one business became insolvent, giving a rate of 0.02 per cent, although the financial health score was just 83.95, the third lowest in the 13-month stretch.

The health score peaked at 84.36 last July, a month which saw four insolvencies and a rate of 0.1 per cent.

In the South West as a whole, 92 businesses became insolvent last month, giving a rate of 0.06 per cent.

However, this was a drop of 13.2 per cent on the figure for April 2011.

Last month's financial health score for the South West was 85.2, which is better than Plymouth's score.

Nationally, the highest number of firms going insolvent by staff levels were those with just one or two employees, with 235 failing in total.

Large firms did better, unsurprisingly, with just seven failing where there were more than 501 workers.

From all the firms becoming insolvent last month, those involved in business services accounted for the largest number with 380 failing.

Next was building and construction (249 businesses), leisure and hotels (142) and non-food retailing (108).

Max Firth, UK managing director for Experian's Business Information Services division, said: "Today's figures show a more stable business environment, with some areas and sectors that have historically seen the highest rates of business failures moving in the right direction.

"Since January 2009, when the average financial strength score of UK firms had fallen to its lowest level recorded, there has been a definite and positive upward trend.

"Combined, these two valuable indicators show how UK businesses are faring and highlight areas where there are opportunities, as well as risks."

World stocks dive after Europe elections, US data - Yahoo Finance

BANGKOK (AP) -- World stock markets were pummeled Monday by election results in Greece and France that heightened uncertainty about Europe's ability to solve its debt crisis.

Signs of a faltering economic recovery in the U.S. compounded the dour mood while oil slid to nearly $97 a barrel.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index plunged 2.8 percent to close at 9,119.14 — its lowest finish in three months — with the market's export sector also sapped by a rising yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2.6 percent to 20,536.59.

Futures augured losses for Wall Street. Dow Jones industrial futures fell 0.8 percent to 12,857 and S&P 500 futures lost 0.9 percent to 1,350.90. Among European markets, Germany's DAX dropped 1.5 percent to 6,463.67 and France's CAC-40 shed 1.6 percent to 3,112.49. Britain's markets were closed for a public holiday.

Weekend election results in Greece sent tremors throughout Europe as voters punished the parties responsible for highly unpopular austerity measures instituted to prevent the country from defaulting on its massive debts and exiting the euro currency bloc.

No political party won enough votes to form a government, raising the possibility of new elections within months and protracted uncertainty for global markets.

Meanwhile, in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy lost to Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, who had criticized the country's austerity program and wants to boost government spending.

Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong, said markets were overreacting to fears Hollande would make good on a campaign pledge to renegotiate an agreement signed by Sarkozy to put the brakes on government overspending.

"Even though Hollande indicated he will repudiate Sarkozy's agreement with the European Union, in reality he cannot do it," Lun said. "It is understood that a new government cannot repudiate or renegotiate a treaty signed by the previous government."

Yet much could depend on French parliamentary elections next month. If there is a continued backlash against austerity policies, Hollande would face additional pressure to boost spending sharply. That could lead to further downgrades of France's credit rating and kick off a fresh wave of crisis fears, destabilizing global markets.

In other Asia markets, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 2.2 percent to 4,301.30 and South Korea's Kospi shed 1.6 percent to 1,956.44.

On Friday, U.S. stocks plunged after the government reported that hiring slowed sharply in April.

A report from the Labor Department Friday showing that U.S. jobs growth slumped in April for a second straight month. The 115,000 jobs added in April and the 154,000 in March were down form an average of 252,000 a month from December through February.

Energy stocks were among the hardest hit after the price of oil lost about 8 percent over three trading days.

Hong Kong-listed China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, tumbled 4.8 percent. Japanese energy explorer Inpex Corp. lost 5.3 percent. South Korea's S-Oil Corp. fell 4.4 percent.

Financial shares sank amid all the uncertainty. Japan's Nomura Holdings Inc. plunged 7.4 percent while ICICI Bank Ltd., India's largest private lender, lost 1.9 percent. Hong Kong-listed Bank of China Ltd. lost 2.6 percent.

Australian resources stocks also fell sharply. BHP Billiton, the world's No. 1 mining company, dropped 4.1 percent. Uranium miner Energy Resources of Australia sank 7.4 percent and its rival, Paladin Energy Ltd., dived 6.8 percent.

Major Japanese exporters deteriorated as the yen strengthened. Yamaha Motor Corp. toppled 6.8 percent while Honda Motor Corp. fell 5.6 percent. Sony Corp. lost 4.5 percent.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down $1.18 to $97.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $4.05 to settle at $98.49 in New York on Friday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3017 from $1.3089 late Friday in New York. The dollar fell to 79.83 from 79.87 yen.


Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at

CBA Analytical Report: Bahamas Financial Services Industry Begs Reform -

The Bahamas finds itself in some debate over the actions of its securities commission assisting the Canadian province of British Columbia in preventing the violation of its securities provisions, and perhaps other laws. The situation is instructive and should clarify an age old problem which many Bahamians seem not to understand. The securities Commission of the Bahamas should be commended on doing the kind of job it should do more often, if the Bahamas wants to build its economy, international reputation, and develop a Capital Market Driven Economy (CMDE), as advanced by the Council for Concerned Bahamians Abroad (CBA) in several of its previous reports at .

The Bahamas must base its future on productive legitimate enterprise, and be a cooperative and collaborative player in world financial affairs, rather than a small “Black Hole” outlier whose primary claim to fame in Financial Services is viewed from the outside by powerful international forces as assisting in the violation of the laws of other countries. The Country must avoid acts seen as encouraging and promoting the international movement and disappearance of monies down a virtual “Black Hole” never to be further traced by anti-terrorist, anti-money laundering, and taxing authorities and agencies.

In brief, it has been reported that Gibraltar Global Securities a Bahamian based and apparently owned financial service company has been declared “Unsuitable” to do business in the Province of British Columbia by the Securities Commission of British Columbia (BCSC). The company and its Canadian affiliate “Global Securities” also faces other sanctions and fines in a hearing scheduled for June 12, 2012. The principals of the Bahamian company have publicly complained that it is a sovereignty issue and that the Securities Commission of the Bahamas (SCB) was wrong in providing the BCSC with information it involuntarily retrieved from Gibraltar in a 2010 “surprise” visit to Gibraltar’s offices. The SCB seized documents containing information which the British Columbia government claimed existed, and which Gibraltar had reportedly refused prior requests for discovery, claiming protection from “Fishing Expeditions” not allowed by Bahamian “Financial Secrecy Law”. Also, Gibraltar now claims that the SCB should be investigated in the matter, as its actions will hurt the Bahamian industry, and reverberate internationally among clientele seeking offshore services and protections.

The SCB has admitted to sending the seized documents to the Provincial government thus giving them evidence needed for their subsequent ruling and actions. Generally, this is how a competent securities Commission is expected to operate, and based on current law and regulations, the SCB seems to have been justified considering the prior discovery requests and resultant refusals by Gibraltar. The BCSC in its ruling also offered evidence that Gibraltar and Global had previously proffered formal statements specifically denying their engagement in the activities the retrieved documents later evidenced they were involved in. More on the specifics of the case can be viewed at .

While the CBA can only opine as to the actual facts as reported in the BCSC ruling and elsewhere, an evaluation based on what has been reported, reveals a situation which is highly instructive. Notably, this is not the first incident the Bahamas Securities Commission has had with Canadian based and affiliated financial service operations. There have been several prominent examples. Due to the lack of a federal securities commission, oversight regulations, and enforcement capabilities, the Canadian securities system which is Provincially based, has come under much scrutiny and criticism. Some observers have gone as far as to state that parties hurt by Canadian related financial services must often depend on transactional connections to the long and powerful arm of the U.S. Securities operations and laws for enforcement solutions. Ironically, this is also one reason the more prudent Financial Services operations in the Bahamas have traditionally and facially steered away from U.S. based transactions whenever they can. The situation in Canada has led to disparate enforcement of securities matters, and internal and international forum shopping by questionable Investment practices and promoters. The Bahamas has unfortunately become a forum shopped by some of these entities due its history as an offshore center with laws touting financial secrecy, and with local actors amenable to lucrative, less enforceable Canadian, as compared to highly scrutinized U.S., based transactions.

The view from outside is extremely important in this area. The Bahamas cannot build and maintain a financial services industry or any industry for that matter, which is viewed from the outside as assisting in the violation of the laws of other countries. This is particularly so when the laws being violated are those of world leading countries, and where our actions may be seen as contravening international norms of financial practice. Simply because we are a sovereign nation with our own laws, does not mean we can do any and everything to make money.

A simple rule that actors within the Bahamian Financial Services industry must remember is that within International Law and Relations, “Might Is Almost Always Right”. This may be a sobering realization for the less well heeled nations, but it is one to take important notice of. While International law and treaties may be interpreted by international bodies with some token representation from smaller nations, such laws are generally established by the larger more powerful forces, and always unilaterally self interpreted and enforced by them in protecting their interests. Unresolved international disputes only exist when two behemoths disagree, but generally when a behemoth confronts a small actor in an international dispute, most knowledgeable observers realize who will ultimately win. Numerous examples of this can be cited but is unnecessary in the context of this report, and may be covered in a follow up report on .

Large powerful countries and international organizations in attempting to protect their interests will strive to do so, particularly when the moral and ethical situation, and international law is arguably on their side.

The new Minster of Financial Services Ryan Pinder, a highly trained and U.S. experienced Tax and Business Transactional lawyer has his work cut out in reigning in unrealistic actors and expectations in the Bahamas Financial Service community. His appointment breeds hope that financial services can now be focused on bringing foreign income and jobs from legitimate foreign business setup and financial services, rather than from the assistance of “Black Hole” financial services couched in terms like “sovereign protected”, “wealth management”, “high net worth offshore asset protection” et al.

The writing has been on the wall for some time now for any objective observer to see. Large important production based world economies will not allow small non-production related economies like the Bahamas to assist foreign violations and abuse of their laws. The recent BCSC ruling, FATCA, OECD, The Patriot Act, and several others now in the pipeline are clear examples that the problem for countries like The Bahamas is not going away.

Both Prime Ministers Ingraham and Christie recognized the problem, and Ingraham though criticized for giving in to the OECD during his first terms in office should be applauded for doing what was morally and ethically right, even if he may have been forced to do so. It is important to note that Christie in his first term did not try to repeal Ingraham’s decision, apparently recognizing the futility of attempting to do so in face of the clear writings upon the international wall of financial compliance. In addition, he appears to have an obvious inclination and predisposition to make the Bahamas a more important and respected player on the world stage. Members of the Bahamas Financial Services Community who do not follow the views espoused in this CBA report, should not be surprised, or expect Prime Minister Christie to take any steps which will put the international reputation of the Bahamas at risk.

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