Phonebook publishers turn new page

It’s a brand new chapter for Caribbean Publishing Company (CPC).

Nearly six months after its Paddington Place headquarters were demolished by the hurricane, the publishers of the Yellow Pages is poised to celebrate its official re-opening at its new offices in Trinity Square.

‘It’s a fresh start for us,’ said Regional Sales Manager Chris Morgan. ‘We’re looking forward to getting out there and meeting with businesses on the island and hearing about their changes – and there are going to be many changes this year.’

With work already under way on the 2005-06 phonebook that’s due out in the fall and the finishing touches being put on its new offices, Morgan said it’s heartening to be back on track.

‘We’re very lucky.’

Morgan said the company lost virtually everything in the storm.

‘We were blown away. It was total destruction.’

CPC will celebrate its re-opening 10 March as the sponsor of Business After Hours, the popular Chamber of Commerce event that gives the business community a chance to network and socialize.

Headquartered in Grand Cayman, the company is the largest telephone directory publisher in the Caribbean. It operates in 14 Caribbean countries and also has a sales office in Miami.

Lynn Smith-Moore, Caribbean Market Manager, said management had to move quickly to keep operations going while its head office was out of commission.

‘We were in an enviable position because even though our head office was off-line we were able to get resources into the other offices.’

Just three weeks after the storm, they found a new home in Trinity Square on Eastern Avenue, a 6,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Sounds and Things.

‘We were very, very lucky to find space so soon after the storm,’ said Morgan.

They were also fortunate in the timing of its 2004-05 Cable & Wireless directory – it was sent overseas to be printed a week before Ivan hit. Six weeks later, they were being distributed across the island.

‘People were very surprised to get them because when they saw our building they didn’t think there would be a directory this year.’

With many landlines still not working, the company compiled and printed a list of alternate contact numbers for businesses, also posting it on the website (www.caymanislandsyp.com).

Like many others rebuilding after Ivan, the road to recovery hasn’t been easy. Employees had to tackle new roles while others contended with being away from family after relocating to regional offices. Working in cramped quarters in a construction zone for weeks on end was also challenging.

‘It wasn’t ideal but everyone got involved and did whatever they could to keep the business going,’ said Morgan.

He noted staff numbers – around 28 people – remain the same.

‘Everything is brand new for us except the people. That’s the constant and that’s the good thing.’

NO COMMENTS