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PM lauds Lanterns investors

Yvette Best

PM lauds Lanterns investors

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THE NEWLY-OPENED Lanterns Mall is a perfect example of what should be done during a recessionary period.
Speaking at the official opening of the Hastings, Christ Church property yesterday, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said investors “used the recession as a time to retool and modernise for recovery”.
“In the face of [a] shrinking economy, falling tourist arrivals and rising consumer prices, the company persevered with its investment plan,” he said as he commended the company for having confidence in Barbados.
Stuart said he wanted to hold them up as an example “worthy of emulation”.
“A recession is part of a cycle of decline and rebirth. It is an unavoidable part of the process of capitalist development in a free economy. It presents contrasting choices to the business community, and in so doing, facilitates the survival of the smartest and the fittest,” he said.
“You at Windsor Plaza Limited have chosen to invest your way out of a recession. You have spotted a niche in the marketplace and injected a substantial amount [$20 million plus] to create a high-end retail mall and a small kiosk marketplace. 
“In so doing, you have helped to diversify the existing tourism product in this area by using modern merchandising methods, improving services and raising standards.”
After the ribbon-cutting, Stuart and the official party toured some of the shops. 
Those who spoke to the SUNDAY SUN expressed similar sentiments – business was doing well, they were in an excellent location and the recession had not impacted on them in a negative way.Owner of Subway, Simon Elias, said business continued to do well, and that they offered similar specials to what obtained in the United States.
At Lazy Days, manager Simon Thompson said business slowed down since Christmas, but it was “pretty good”.
Afisha’s Collection was doing good business as well. Manager Lasonta John said “people were still holding on to their purses” and there were not a lot of sales, but lots of people were showing interest in their pieces.
Karen Drakes, of Gecko Gifts, said they were experiencing the expected peaks and falls associated with a recession, but that business has been “steady” and would get better as it gets closer to Mother’s Day.