Business in brief

CUC declares dividend  

The board of directors of Caribbean Utilities Company has declared a dividend of US$0.165 per class A ordinary share, or an annualized dividend of US$0.66 per share. The dividend will be payable March 15 to shareholders of record March 2, 2015. CUC provides electricity to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, under a non-exclusive electricity generation license expiring in 2039 and an exclusive electricity transmission and distribution license expiring in 2028.  

Higgs & Johnson launches aviation practice  

Higgs & Johnson has announced it now has a dedicated aviation practice area chaired by partner Michael F. L. Allen. This practice area used to be part of the Maritime & Shipping practice since 2009 but has grown to warrant its own named practice area within the firm, Higgs & Johnson said in a press release. 

Attorneys within the practice area are involved in a wide range of aviation-related activity, including supporting and coordinating local aspects of airline operations, providing advice on best structures for aircraft ownership based on the requirements of financing parties, and providing opinions on companies’ participation in finance lease structures.  

Clients include aircraft owners, international airlines, financial institutions providing aircraft financing, export credit agency lenders and aircraft leasing and management companies.  

Mr. Allen said, “The Bahamas is currently moving through an exciting phase in the development of the aviation industry which has the promise of positively impacting a number of sectors within the local economy. We at Higgs & Johnson are committed to ensuring the very best of services to both the domestic and international markets and wish to ensure that we are well placed in both The Bahamas and the Cayman Islands to respond to the growing needs of the industry.” 

Appleby counsel in Jicheng’s Hong Kong listing  

Appleby acted as Cayman counsel for Jicheng Umbrella Holdings Ltd. in relation to its listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Feb. 13. 

The company raised gross proceeds of approximately HK$240 million.  

Cayman-registered company Jicheng is a manufacturer of plastic and nylon umbrellas exported mainly to Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, France and Cambodia. Jicheng was the third largest umbrella and parasol manufacturer in China in 2013 and the largest supplier of plastic umbrellas to Japan in 2013, both in terms of sales volume. 

The majority of the proceeds from the offering will be used to construct a new factory to enhance production capacity, as well as to strengthen the technical expertise of the company.  

Small businesses encouraged to sign up for expo  

The Department of Commerce and Investment is seeking exhibitors for its Small-Business Expo on April 18, at the Family Life Centre.  

It is the third year for the event, which was previously billed as a celebration of Cayman Entrepreneurship Day.  

DCI Director Ryan Rajkumarsingh said the expo will provide a substantial amount of promotion for small businesses. 

“It is a fantastic opportunity for small- and micro-business owners to exhibit their goods and services to the general public,” Mr. Rajkumarsingh said. “Through the expo, they also will be able to network with other business owners, learn best practices, and see how they can do business together, all in a cost-effective manner.” 

Key features of the expo include technical workshops, face-to-face meetings with accomplished entrepreneurs, a platform for budding entrepreneurs to present their business ideas, and a cocktail reception and business networking event.  

The expo is intended to increase awareness of the variety of micro and small businesses in the local market, stimulate immediate sales for exhibitors, provide insight into the special needs of businesses in crisis, and educate a wider audience about the services DCI provides to local commerce. 

For more information on reserving a booth, contact DCI Business Services Officer Thais Ducent at [email protected]

Students advise small businesses  

Several small business owners are getting free consultations from University College of the Cayman Islands business students. Atlantic Supply Ltd, Chatterbox, Kelly Holding Ltd, Swim & Trim Ltd. and Ted Green Fragrances are taking part in the Student Consulting Program, a joint initiative between UCCI and the Department of Commerce and Investment.  

Cayman National Bank is sponsoring the program in order to cover expenses incurred by the students as part of their consultancy.  

DCI Business Services Officer Thais Ducent said the partnership between the public and private sector, and the resulting investment of resources, is a key factor in bringing about the program. 

“Now in its seventh year, we are continuing to build on this success and students’ entrepreneurial development. We are proud to boost the local small business community through this program,” Mrs. Ducent said. 

For 2015, the participating entrepreneurs are Clive Bodden (Atlantic Supply managing director), Roz Griffiths (Chatterbox manager), Rhonda Kelly (Kelly Holding CEO), Farron Bennett (Swim and Trim owner) and Tedrick Green (Ted Green Fragrances owner). 

The 10-week program matches each business owner with a team of students who are enrolled in UCCI’s upper-level Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management course. The teams are guided in their consultancy by UCCI senior lecturer Annette Murphy. 

Each business has a particular need in areas such as marketing, business management and accounting. As the consulting projects are part of their course grades, students will be assessed by DCI and UCCI program facilitators on the quality of their consultative advice. 

OtisAir 

Local air conditioning unit supplier OtisAir has received the Contractor of the Year 2014 award from Linc Service, a member of the ABM Franchising Group. 

The award is given to the leading contractor out of more than 170 Linc ABM contractors worldwide on the basis of several performance criteria. OtisAir was presented with the award last month at an awards evening in Atlanta. 

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The student consulting program matches business owners with a team of students enrolled in UCCI’s upper-level Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management course.
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