Honeyvera Expects Big Returns from Expo Jamaica – Magnetic Media

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By: Rochelle Williams
 
 
#Kingson, May 5, 2023 – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HoneyVera Limited, Christal-Ann Thompson, is anticipating big returns from participating in the just-concluded Expo Jamaica 2023.
It was the second time that the eight-year-old organic skin and haircare company was exhibiting at the tradeshow that allows Jamaican businesses to connect with buyers from all over the globe.
This year’s event was held over four days, from April 27 to 30, at the National Indoor Sports Centre and the National Arena in Kingston.
Noting that the company has reaped dividends from its initial participation in the show in 2018, Ms. Thompson tells JIS News that the exposure and  contacts made were invaluable in increasing sales, particularly in the international market.
“We have been growing and we are grateful and thankful to God for the growth. This event has helped tremendously, especially with the export market,” she says.
“At our last expo, we got [into] four stores in the United States (US) from a buyer that came, and we still have those stores now and they are doing very well, so… it goes beyond the days that we are here. It is an awesome event, and it is a good investment for entrepreneurs,” she tells JIS News.
She notes that HoneyVera is looking to expand its international reach and so far, there has been interest from buyers in the United Kingdom (UK) and the US.
“The buyers bring your products into a chain of supermarkets, beauty stores, and that is even bigger than making a one-day sale. That has been my experience,” she says.
“We want to quadruple what we did before. We definitely want to expand our market overseas, and so we are looking forward to the buyers,” she says.
Ms. Thompson was excited to participate in the 2023 staging of Expo Jamaica, which returned after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She tells JIS News that during the period of the pandemic, the company saw an increase in business, particularly online.
“I thought I was going to have to find something else to do because I was like ‘Lord have mercy, nobody naah go buy nuh hair products now’. But people were buying the products. We did a lot of shipping. People from overseas did a lot of buying. Our website sales went up,” she notes.
She says that at the onset of the pandemic, the company was preparing to launch a hand sanitiser and was able to corner the market at a time when local supplies of the product were short.
“COVID had just hit, and the companies were not ready with their hand sanitisers. However, we were actually going to push out hand sanitisers prior to the pandemic, so we had everything ready. When some of the companies were out of ingredients out here, we had it in stock… .  We were already prepared, and that is what gave us a big boost during COVID.  We sold to companies that do maintenance for [commercial enterprises], supermarkets, schools, gas stations, hotels. It helped us greatly,” she says.
Ms. Thompson is encouraging other small businesses to participate in Expo Jamaica whenever it is held.
“Sometimes it’s not about making the money. When you look at the booth cost, the value that you get with it far outweighs the cost… .  Brand awareness is always very important,” she says, noting that the invaluable exposure and partnerships gained through the Expo have the potential to launch small businesses to the next level.
Even with the risks and uncertainties associated with entrepreneurship, Ms. Thompson says the experience is rewarding.
Since its inception, HoneyVera has expanded its range of skin and haircare products from eight to 42.
The company is committed to producing 100 per cent organic products, which it grows or sources directly from local farmers.
“Owning HoneyVera is exciting, to be honest. I would tell anybody entrepreneurship is the way to go but you have to be determined to stick to it and be willing to fall, but when you rise, you’re like a phoenix,” she says.

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#TurksandCaicos, May 5, 2023 – Stakeholders from local National Security State Agencies with responsibility for disaster preparedness, mitigation, interception, border response, law enforcement and disaster recovery,  yesterday (May 04th)  participated in a workshop aimed at strengthening collaborative capabilities.
Thirty-three high-level personnel from Government agencies, Law Enforcement, the Attorney General Chambers, Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME), TCI Hospitals, TCI Regiment, Border Force , Fire,  TCI Airport Authority, Immigration, Customs, members of the RTCIPF Executive and senior management were in attendance .
The Workshop entitled: “Working Together, Saving Lives, Reducing Harm”, was facilitated by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force
Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting in delivering opening remarks said: “We can only ensure we have a safe and secure Turks and Caicos Islands if we, those that serve our communities and who are charged with the responsibility of protecting this territory, work together collaboratively in partnership and with a commitment to do so.”
Commissioner Botting noted that in the last six weeks multi agency Silver and Gold Command training was delivered, with members of the Immigration Ministry and Enforcement, Customs, Airport Security, Policing and the TCI Regiment in the sessions: “Not as one agency, but learning and developing alongside their Law Enforcement and security partners.”
Commissioner Botting said such steps form part of a collaborative journey, and : “In this way, we will emerge stronger as a collective and be better equipped to tackle the threats and challenges we face.”
The aim of the workshop was to  develop a common understanding of the principles and benefits  of an interoperability framework in multi-agency  responses to incidents and operations of any scale and also to commit to the development of joint guidance during incidents.
Also speaking at the opening yesterday (May 04th ) was Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Moreen Braithwaite-Knowles OBE, KC.
Hon. Braithwaite-Knowles  said: “We have confronted major and serious crime. As Chairman of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee, which is responsible for combatting the scourge of money laundering , I can tell you that no individual body can do it alone . We need to work together , collectively and collaboratively. No one department has all the resources. Criminals are in business, we have the tools to rob them of their proceeds of crime”.
Adding that criminals,  “love the fact when we work in silos,”  Hon. Braithwaite-Knowles told those in attendance:  “It is in our collective interest to work together . In the TCI,  I  want us to foster collaborative partnerships . Our (Government) role  is to support, empower and ensure you have the tools to get the job done”.
Acting Premier Hon. Erwin Jay Saunders in delivering brief remarks said every emergency requires collaborative efforts to ensure a “more secure and beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands”.

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By Rashaed Esson
Staff Writer
 
 
May 5, 2023 – Norse Atlantic Airways, a Norwegian low-cost long-haul airline, announced that they will soon be flying to Barbados and Jamaica from London, Gatwick.
As of October 29th, 2023, daily flights to Barbados will commence, and the airfare will start from $565 (USD).
For Jamaica, also from the 29th, flights will be four times weekly to Montego Bay, fares starting from $704 (USD).
Flights will also go to Kingston three times weekly starting on the 31st of October and the airfare, a little bit higher than Montego Bay, starting from $729 (USD).
The fare returns include all taxes.
This is a good establishment for Jamaica and Barbados as people will be able to now travel there, as expressed by Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO Norse Atlantic Airways.
“More travellers will now be able to experience these amazing destinations thanks to our low fares and those wishing to reunite with friends and family will have greater choice during this traditionally high demand period of travel,” he said.
“Having more opportunities for passengers to enjoy some winter sun in Barbados and Jamaica, at fantastic value, is great news for people across London and the South East,” added Stephanie Wear, VP Aviation Development, London Gatwick, who expressed excitement for Norse’s expansion in destinations.
Considering this, this new development can potentially contribute to tourism growth in both countries.

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By MATT MAURA, BIS
 
 
#TheBahamas, May 5, 2023 – Governor-General, the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith, ON, led a group of officials responsible for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response, in-country, along with other key partners and stakeholders at the annual Church Service used to launch Disaster Preparedness Month, nation-wide.
The Service was held Sunday, April 30, 2023 at St. Agnes Anglican Church, Baillou Hill Road. Disaster Preparedness Month is commemorated during the month of May. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1 through November 30.
His Excellency was joined by Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response, the Hon. Myles K. LaRoda and Mrs. LaRoda; in addition to senior government officials including: Mr. Carl Smith; Mr. Alex Storr; Mrs. Isla Deane; Captain Stephen Russell; Mr. Aarone Sargent; and Mrs. Gayle Outten-Moncur; among many others.
His Excellency said commemorating Disaster Preparedness Month nation-wide was a great opportunity for citizens and residents across The Bahamas to ensure that their preparations are underway in advance of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, adding that there is no higher calling than to be prepared for any eventuality.
“What a wonderful occasion we have, what a great opportunity we have to be able to make the necessary preparations for what we know could happen; what we know has happened in the past. I couldn’t be more serious when I say to the Church, when I say to communities all over our country, that there is no higher calling for all of us than to be prepared for any eventuality.”
His Excellency said his message of preparedness should resonate throughout all islands of The Bahamas, including New Providence.
“All of us can remember what has happened to our country, and to many of our communities, whether in Long Island (Joaquin 2015 that also brought damage to Acklins and Crooked Island, San Salvador and Rum Cay), or in Grand Bahama and Abaco (most recently 2019 Hurricane Dorian), or Eleuthera back in 1992 (Hurricane Andrew which also caused damage in Bimini and the Berry Islands), and if it happened to those areas, it could happen to New Providence. What will happen to our country if our capital city, where the seat of government resides, where the majority of our citizens live, and sadly where many of the homes are compromised, was affected by a major storm? This is serious my friends, let us take great care.”
The Governor-General also took the opportunity to encourage volunteerism at the national and community levels. His Excellency said volunteerism, when combined with preparation, makes for a more responsive and resilient society.
“This the time to not only consider preparing for yourselves, but also being available to the various agencies, volunteering your time in the case there is an emergency where there is the need for hands. Be prepared to help your Brothers and your Sisters. We must be our Brothers’ and Sisters’ keeper. I encourage everybody to do your part so that if there is an emergency, we are in the best shape of being able to overcome it.”
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response, the Hon. Myles LaRoda, said citizens and residents also have an “obligation” to minimize the impacts of disasters such as hurricanes on themselves, their loved ones, properties and businesses.
“Over the past four years with the exception possibly of Nicole, we have fared pretty well, but as the Minister responsible, I have toured East Grand Bahama, I have toured Abaco and I can tell you that four years later those areas are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Dorian,” State-Minister LaRoda said.
“We must be prepared. That cannot be said enough. Also, those of us who are in a position of preparedness, we have an obligation, a moral duty, to assist those who are not as fortunate,” State-Minister LaRoda added.
The Service took place at St. Agnes on a day the church community was celebrating Good Shepherd’s Sunday. Church Rector, Archdeacon Keith Cartwright, said it was not by accident that the service was held during its celebration of Good Shepherd’s Sunday as Hurricane/Disaster preparedness “is no joke.”
“It is by no accident that I believe the Lord has brought our special national committee here today. We (have to) be our neighbour’s keeper. We cannot, cannot, take natural disasters for granted. I just read recently of the unsettling news that the ocean’s temperatures are way up from normal. As you know, hurricanes get their gas from the heat coming from the ocean and so this is a very serious matter for us who live in places like The Bahamas – we cannot take this for granted,” Archdeacon Cartwright added.
 
(BIS Photos/Anthon Thompson)

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