Small Businesses Need ‘Soft Loans’

first_imgThe Ebola epidemic is still pounding the Liberian economy as many small, medium size businesses struggle from the impact of the virus. The disease has killed nearly 3,000 people in Liberia alone, but its catastrophic impact on businesses is more of a worry.Many small businesses have shut down due to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, creating further setbacks to the already shrinking Liberian economy.In an interview recently with a local toiletries manufacturer in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia, the Daily Observer Business Desk was told that the company has not only reduced its staff and production, but also faces grim prospects of a strong comeback without soft financial loan or bailout funds.Mr. Fomba Trawally, CEO, National Toiletries, said he can no longer afford to manufacture the quantity of toiletries which he used to produce prior to the Ebola virus outbreak, owing to a number of reasons. One of these is the closure of the borders with neighboring countries, which he said has hampered cross-border importation of raw materials and also the subsequent export of goods available by road to other countries.“We are hurt by the closure of the border because we can no longer bring in the needed raw materials, neither are we able to export our finished products,” Mr. Trawally said in a statement, adding that local sales have plummeted considerably, ever since government began taking measures to restrict travels at the country’s borders, in order to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.“Local hotels and other big businesses have since stopped buying our toiletries and other sanitary materials,” he said, “because border closures with neighboring countries are making a heavy impact on our business. Now we can no longer import a number of much-needed raw materials and finished products from countries like La Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. We are also not able to sell to our clients in these countries or import materials from other countries outside of Africa, such as Turkey,” Mr. Trawally told the Daily Observer. Fomba has struggled to maintain and grow the small business which he inherited from his mother Madam Kumba Bendu, which he named ‘Kumba Bendu &Sons’. The entity sells imported cosmetics and other products.But since venturing into manufacturing business a few years ago, Fomba, who is also president of Concerned Liberian International Business Organization (COLINBO), has prospects of being one of Africa’s biggest entrepreneurs and has said “My aim is to grow far bigger than what we have here.”With his toiletries business valued at over US$4 million, Fomba said that the Ebola virus outbreak has introduced a fresh challenge he never expected before. “As an individual, the Ebola outbreak placed me in a state of confusion. I did not know how and who to downsize among my small staff.  It made me reduce the time I spent with my family and had to spend more time thinking about how to keep my business running and operational,” he added.Mr. Trawally says he needs a soft loan or financial bailout to rescue his business from the losses being incurred by the Ebola outbreak. “We need a loan or a form of financial bailout which will to a large extent help us to restructure our business. This will help us create new employment opportunities which will subsequently lead to an increase in production,” he said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Women in Business Expo opens

first_img…empowerment high on agendaBy Lakhram BhagiratFor over 60 women with small businesses, the slogan “Girl Power” turned into action when they were afforded the opportunity to display their products and services on Saturday, as the third annual Women in Business (WIB) Expo opened at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.The event is a collaborative effort between the Sonia Noel Foundation for Creative Arts (SNFCA) and the Women’s Association for Sustainable Development. The exhibition concludes today at 20:00h.WIB6- Bow Jay representatives with some of their productsIn addition to the expo, there will be a health, business and technology forum, a charting your course and ‘Inspire You’ events, an evening with Sherry Dixon, a tea party and fashion show, book signing, and a leadership conference.For the more than 60 women exhibiting their products and services, the WIB has served as a launching pad for them as they are building new bridges and collaborating with each other to further expand their reach. One of the women, Christine Profit from the Scrub Hub explained that there have already beenThe ladies of the Scrub Hubcollaborations between the women prior to the opening of the expo. The women have been preparing for the event over the past two months with intense training and development sessions hosted by local designer and the Expo’s founder, Sonia Noel.According to Noel, the expo focuses on small businesses with the aim of allowing persons to gradually increase their operations into medium, large then eventually conglomerates. She encouraged the businesswomen to be conscious of their social human responsibility.Women empowermentThe women of the Mahaica Women’s GroupThe entire idea of the two-day exhibition is to empower women to further develop themselves and not depend on a male counterpart for sustenance.Simona Peters, who owns the Country Style Coconut Biscuit, said that the expo is timely as it culminates with the International Women’s Day month of activities and it showcases the strength of a woman.The Mahaica Women’s Group was out in their numbers to showcase their decorative bottles and locally made scented candles. Representative Debbie Argyle said that the women work in collaboration with each other making candles and other crafts two days per week and that she sees as them empowering each other rather than just talking.New productsProfessional waiters Mariah Barker and Donella Long used the event to launch their brand-new business – The Balance – providing waiter services in Guyana. Long noted that they aim to provide professional waiting services for any event despite the magnitude.Meanwhile, Barker said the WIB Expo was chosen as the launching ground because of the marketing opportunities.A few years ago, Guyana’s first custom-made Bowtie business was founded by then 17-year-old Jenell Pierre and the company, Bow Jay, has been expanding its reach ever since. Like, The Balance, Bow Jay also used the WIB Expo to launch their new line of locally made lip-glosses.First time exhibitor, Autimae Le-Black said she created Delight Treats out of her kitchen after she saw the first Women in Business Expo (WIB). She explained that a few years ago, she graduated the Carnegie School of Home Economics as a certified baker and just left it as that while she took care of her family.She offers a wide variety of cakes, cookies and pastries that can be customised to suit any event.Get more involvedAt the opening ceremony, Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes urged women to stand up, speak out, and get more involved in the workings of society. She used the opportunity to urge women to take up more positions in society since they offer a different perspective on every situation. “Let your voices be heard. We must let our voices be heard. Do not leave the dialogue to a few usual suspects who want to drown out the opportunities we have been given and who don’t want to focus on and take those opportunities on how we prepare to get there. It is against that background that I ask each one of you to use your voices to speak up, speak out and be an agent of change,” she added.The idea of the expo is to coincide with the month of activities to commemorate International Women’s Day observed on March 8. This year it is observed under the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives” with the slogan #pressforprogress.last_img read more

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Detective charged for trying to fraudulently sell house lot

first_imgA detective, who was arrested during a sting operation after he allegedly attempted to collect money from a woman he reportedly tried to fraudulently sell a house lot to, was on Friday charged.Twenty-eight-year-old Gladwin Abrams of Lot 16 West Ruimveldt, Georgetown, appeared before Magistrate Leron Daly at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts and pleaded not guilty to the charge.It is alleged that on July 18, 2019, at Brickdam, Georgetown, with intent to defraud, he attempted to commit a felony by attempting to collect $100,000 from Dina Malcolm by falsely pretending that he was in a position to grant her a house lot.The prosecution’s case contended that the detective, who is stationed at the Providence Police Station, messaged several persons via Facebook Messenger offering housing lots for sale ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.However, persons became suspicious and contacted another Police officer.The court heard that Abrams made arrangements to uplift the money from the Virtual Complainant on South Road, Georgetown. It was during the handing over of the cash that he was nabbed in the sting operation.He was nonetheless released on $50,000 bail. The case will continue on November 1, 2019.last_img read more

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Motorcycle bandits strike again, rob welder of US$5000

first_imgTwo motorcycle bandits on Wednesday attacked and relieved a welder of US$5000, along Princes and Chapel Streets, Georgetown.Twenty-six-year-old Richard Shaw of Lot 9-B Albouystown, Georgetown, was reportedly driving his motorcar PHH 9410 at about 21:15h and as he negotiated a speed bump, he was attacked.The two perpetrators, according to information received, rode up alongside Shaw’s vehicle on a white XR motorcycle and pointed a gun at him. Fearing for his life, Shaw stopped the car and it was then the men demanded that he hands over his wallet.Not satisfied, the pillion rider dismounted the motorcycle and commanded the victim to hand over a black plastic bag which was in the back passengers’ seat of his car. That bag, according to the victim, contained the money.After being given same, the two men got back unto the motorcycle and quickly escaped South on Princes Street. A report was made at the East La Penitence Police Station and an investigation was launched.No arrests were made.last_img read more

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Tallawahs begin to arrive ahead of Warriors clash

first_imgWith action in the ongoing Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set to return to Guyana beginning on Saturday, the Jamaica Tallawahs began to arrive for their return clash with hosts Guyana Amazon Warriors.Just a few members of the squad have arrived on Monday with the rest expected on Wednesday to prepare for the return clash on Saturday.There is a three-way tie with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Tallawahs with 10 points each with only the net run rate separating them as was much of the tournament.All three teams have confirmed their places in the play-off phase of the tournament and are now playing for placements along with last year’s finalist St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.FORT LAUDERDALE, UNITED STATES- AUGUST 18: In this handout image provided by CPL T20, Shimron Hetmyer of Guyana Amazon Warriors plays a pull shot during the Hero Caribbean Premier League match between Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors at Central Broward Regional Park on August 18, 2018 in Florida, United States. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Shimron HetmyerThe Warriors with one more clash on the road on Wednesday against TKR in Port of Spain will finish the league stage at Providence with the two heated clashes.On Saturday the Andre Russell-led side will take to the field against the Amazon Warriors who won two of their previous matches at home.Against the Tallawahs in Florida, the Warriors won easily by 71 runs after Shimron Hetmyer smoked a classy century.However, Russell and speedster Oshane Thomas have been in ripping form with the ball and are leading the bowling charts with 14 wickets apiece.It’s all to play for on Saturday from 20:00h when both teams will look to win to finish the league stage in the top or second spot to have an easier passage to the final.After the preliminary rounds, the first and second play-off matches featuring the four teams will be played right at Providence on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.last_img read more

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Real Madrid’s Coentrao questioned in tax fraud probe

first_imgThe spokesman refused to give any other details.But according to two other judicial sources, who refused to be named, the 29-year-old paid out 1.7 million euros ($1.9 million) to tax authorities before going to court — the sum owed plus interest.Prosecutors allege that he used companies in Ireland and Panama to avoid taxes on the income earned from his image rights between 2012 and 2014.Coentrao is just one of several football stars accused of tax evasion.His Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo is due to be questioned by a Spanish judge on July 31 after allegedly evading 14.7 million euros in taxes.Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes, meanwhile, appeared in court last week where he denied helping create shell companies for his clients to assist them in evading taxes.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Prosecutors allege that Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao used companies in Ireland and Panama to avoid taxes on the income earned from his image rights between 2012 and 2014 © AFP/File / Christof STACHEMADRID, Spain, Jul 3 – Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao, accused of evading nearly 1.3 million euros in income from the tax man, was questioned in court on Monday, a judicial source said.He appeared in court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of the Spanish capital where many footballers live, said a spokesman for the high court of the Madrid region — which oversees all other courts in the area.last_img read more

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Arsenal continue summer spending with Ospina capture

first_img1 Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina Arsenal have finalised a deal to bring Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina to the Emirates Stadium, according to Nice coach Claude Puel.The Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for the 25-year-old, who enhanced his reputation during the summer’s World Cup with a string of impressive displays between the sticks for his nation.While Poland international Wojciech Szczesny has firmly established himself as the north London side’s number one, there is little competition beyond him following Lukasz Fabianski’s exit to Swansea.Having already spent approaching £50million on the arrivals of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, Arsene Wenger insisted the club hadn’t finished in the transfer market and were on the search for a back-up stopper.And it seems the Frenchman has come through on his promise.“It’s confirmed, yes,” Puel told Sky Sports News following Nice’s friendly defeat to Brentford.“It’s a good affair for Arsenal because he’s a very good player. You will see next season the quality of this player.“It’s fantastic for him. It’s important for him to try another league, another club and Arsenal is a fantastic club for him.“David Ospina can take the goalkeeping position at Arsenal because his qualities are very strong and magnifique. You saw in the World Cup how important a goalkeeper he is.“For me, David can impose his quality, he’s a goalkeeper who is very good with the feet, with his arms, he knows football and he’s a very, very good player.”last_img read more

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Buffon says no PSG promise of starting slot

first_img0Shares0000Veteran Gianluigi Buffon, whose 176 Italy caps are a European record, says he has not been guaranteed a starting place but will look to show he retains the quality to be a regular even at 40 © AFP / Thomas SAMSONPARIS, France, Jul 9 – Gianluigi Buffon, Paris Saint-Germain’s veteran goalkeeper, said Monday he was not a guaranteed starter as he embarks on a new challenge following his move from Juventus.“Nobody ever told me I would be a starter,” said Buffon, 40, as the Italian was presented to the media. “I was always first choice at Parma, Juve and the national side, but nobody ever told me I’d be an automatic first choice” at PSG, he explained.“I have always been a player who has earned his starting place on the field,” added Buffon, who will seek to dislodge Alphonse Areola, who pushed German Kevin Trapp down to number two last season.“Of course I am 40 years old but I am in excellent physical form. I know that when there is a need to have major goals (at a club) then you need all hands on deck.“We shall all get game time during the season and I shall do all I can to put the others in the best possible conditions. I want to show I am a great keeper and I am sure I shall do that,” Buffon concluded as he looks to stake a claim at the French champions, who have five keepers on their books.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Puskas award nominee scores another beauty

first_imgOnce again Stephanie Roche has dazzled fans with her superb finishing.Her goal for Peamount United against Wexford Youths saw her shortlisted for the 2014 FIFA Puskas Award where she lost out to James Rodriguez’s World Cup effort.Now, though, playing for the Republic of Ireland, she did this against Costa Rica. Puskas Award nominee Stephanie Roche scores another great goal 1center_img She’s only gone and done it again! Another cracker of a goal from Stephanie Roche! What do you think?! #IRLWNT https://t.co/FHF7Afkw3q— FAIreland ⚽️ (@FAIreland) March 12, 2015last_img read more

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Arsenal reject ‘still has a lot to give’ and expects return to the Emirates next season

first_img1 Lukas Podolski Germany forward Lukas Podolski insists he still has a lot to give for club and country, despite a disappointing year with Arsenal and Inter Milan.Back in his home city of Cologne for a friendly against the United States on Wednesday, Podolski failed to show signs of dampened spirits after a season spent predominantly on the bench.“You can take experience from everywhere you play abroad, even if it was not my best year from a sporting perspective,” said the 30-year-old.“But I still have many years ahead of me and a burning desire to play football.”That could still be with Arsenal.Podolski’s contract with the Gunners still has a year left to run on it and, after scoring just one goal in a loan spell at Inter and failing to convince the Serie A club to make his move a permanent one, he sees no reason why he will not be staying in London next season.“There’s bound to be speculation in the coming weeks, but at the moment it looks like I will be going back to London,” he said.“Things can always change, but if needs be I will remain at Arsenal next season.“They are a great club and I think I can help them. I can confirm there has been no interest from Werder Bremen.”Podolski is set to pick up his 124th cap for Germany against the USA this week and he continues to enjoy the respect of his national team colleagues.“In my eyes, he is often underrated,” said Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger. “He’s got fewer grey hairs than me and that’s probably because he’s had more fun in his life than I’ve had.“He’s always in a good mood.”last_img read more

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