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#245820 - 08/20/07 06:48 PM Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye?  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 11
Mac&Erin Offline
Mac&Erin  Offline
My fiance and I are getting married north of San Pedro in mid-November and our longterm goal is looking more and more like relocating there in about 3 years.

I'm trying to find out what kinds of businesses are needed on Ambergris Caye or in Belize in general. The tentative plan is to take an extended 3 month vacation down there this time next year and outright buy a house there within another year, with relocation coming in maybe another year after that...when/if the housing market turns around in Florida and we can sell our home here.

If we can find 1-2 business ideas that seem really solid we would like to start a similar business here in the states, so at least we have a solid idea of what we're getting into before taking that leap.

Her background is a BS in Psychology, with 10 years in the staffing business. She's tired of the corporate games and is proably going to start teaching in the next few months. Her true talent has been wasted, because her destiny was cooking. She's a phenominal cook and can somehow taste almost any food and tell you everything in it.

My background is also 10 years of staffing experience, with 7-8 years of experience working in and managing nightclubs & bars prior to that.

Naturally an easy transition would be opening up a small restaurant & bar, but we're not exactly locked into that.

Another idea, which may seem crazy to some, would be using that staffing experience and helping professionals from a few fields I have experience in, get high paying contract jobs overseas. With the wages in Belize being much lower than the US and the wages for skilled professionals for overseas work(not US) being so high, the Belizian workers could make 3-4 times more money working overseas than they make in Belize and there's still enough money left over for me to make a tidy little profit. The only thing it would take is contacts with those overseas clients, which I have, and contacts in the local Belize industry...which shouldn't be too hard. The company I work for now does the same with labor from the Phillipines, except they're a heartless mega-corp that doesn't pay those workers 1/3 of what they should. A passport from a Commonwealth nation makes professionals from Belize even more desirable.

Any advice, thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

#245847 - 08/20/07 07:38 PM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: Mac&Erin]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,817
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
Us locals would love a new restaurant to add to the rotation! (Can't wait to try the new greek place!) A bakery is much needed. A local employment agency would also work well. Sometimes its hard to find good reliable help.

#247235 - 08/23/07 10:02 PM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,123
indygal Offline
indygal  Offline
If you can figure out a way to get Belizians making more money without leaving Belize - bless you. As far as that wonderful cook wife of yours...........PLEASE a good specialty bakery. One with Rye bread, Bagette, crosants, Wheat bread and even french pastries on Saturday. There is plenty of mediocre bread and sweets here. Resturants are many and high maintence in my opinion, but a bakery could be run with smaller start up, just a couple employees, and be open as few as 4 days a week.
Hope you enjoy your 3 month stay, try not to get to anxious to buy. Indygal

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
#247238 - 08/23/07 10:36 PM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: indygal]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,436
Short Offline
Short  Offline
When you look at any website with general information about the country Belize you will find that the one thing we have a shortage of is skilled professionals, and you want to send them abroad? Not a good idea I think. Good teachers we can use over here, so your wife is welcome. Always keep into consideration while hatching your plans that we only have a population of 270,000 people.
Good luck!

Live and let live
#247241 - 08/23/07 11:46 PM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: Short]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 993
Bill Mc Ghee Offline
Bill Mc Ghee  Offline
While I share your views and concerns about sending the skilled professionals elswhere, thus depleting the individules needed to develop a infant nation such as Belize. I can not help but think where these young ,upcoming professional recieve the education to attain that status. Where In Belize is there a University, College or even Trade school that offers such training? Once the High School student matriculates they are left with one choice . That is to go abroad to further thier education. Once there, and upon graduation they see brighter opportunities to make more money, secure much better working conditions, and opportunities for advancement elsewhere. Thus the drain of the young from the rolls of the " Professional" in Belize.

Sad as it may be to admit this, Unless Belize recruits, sponsers, and supports a much higher educational system, provides well paying jobs upon graduation, and secures these positions with corporate development to employ the youth of the nation there will continue to be drain of the well educated.

You state that " Good Teachers We Can Use Over Here, So Your Wife Is Welcome". Welcome to what? To make thousand of dollars less than she would make teaching elswhere? Granted , the teachers in the US are grossly underpaid, a known fact. But in Belize , it is poverty level pay.

From My visits to beautiful Belize( Ambergris in particular) A good bakery is definately needed. I'm not in anyway shape or form cutting down the bakeries already in place.I'm speaking of a bakery that offers a variety of choice. I.e., Rye bread, Italian( crusty) bread. bagels ets. etc. Those items that some residents eluded to.

You mention that "keep Into Consideration While Hatching Your Plans That We Only Have A Population Of 270,000". True as that may be, will it not grow? And, what of the 300,000 plus tourist that visit on a yearly basis. Do they not figure into the demographics of potential consumers?

It is a Fact of life, sadly as it may be, that tourist always look for a comfort zone. No matter where they travel. If in this case its a loaf of bread, a roll,or a Bagel etc. They will flock to that store to apease that need.

Here in Lies the rub!. Belize is so very restrictive in Business ventures. Must be a resident, must hire Belizens if you are not one etc. etc ad infinitum. Are you in competition with local residents? etc. etc. Must show a income of X amount of Dollars ( Higher by the way than any surrounding nation) must be in counrty X number of months( without a break in time) to establish residency( Much stricter than surounding nations)

So the "professional" ( not the native born they are gone or going) who wants to relocate, offer thier expertize, looks at this and say. "why should I" this other Nation offers better.

Last edited by BiIl Mc Ghee; 08/24/07 12:15 AM.

Never Use money to measure wealth
#247247 - 08/24/07 06:34 AM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: Bill Mc Ghee]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,123
indygal Offline
indygal  Offline
Bill, I think you are mistaken about the residency to start a business. You need a business lic. and a work permit to start a business - far easier to get then Residency.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.
#247251 - 08/24/07 07:48 AM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: indygal]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
You need to do some reaearch! You apparently are not aware of University of Belize, and Galen University.

#247252 - 08/24/07 07:53 AM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: indygal]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 993
Bill Mc Ghee Offline
Bill Mc Ghee  Offline
Thanks for the correction Indygal. Your right I was mistaken and or confused about the requirements to establih a business.

Never Use money to measure wealth
#247253 - 08/24/07 07:59 AM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: SP Daily]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 993
Bill Mc Ghee Offline
Bill Mc Ghee  Offline
I have since been made aware of the University of belize, and Galen University. Thanks for calling that to my attention. I may have Spoken out of turn.

Never Use money to measure wealth
#247300 - 08/25/07 12:20 AM Re: Businesses needed on Ambergris Caye? [Re: Bill Mc Ghee]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,436
Short Offline
Short  Offline
To BiIl Mc Ghee,

The objective of my post was to give Mac&Erin some useful information - not to get drawn into a political discussion, nevertheless I will address some of your thoughts.

Yes, education is a big issue here; Jesse corrected you already on the assumption that there are no Universities or Colleges, and that is also why I am saying that we need good teachers. Yes, wages are lower here than in the first world, but then again, you get to live in paradise (or as Captain Jeff puts it, "living the dream").

With my statement about professionals in Belize I meant to say that outsourcing them would probably not make Mac&Erin very popular here, as we are trying to accomplish the opposite - think about that when you are paying the bill for the repair of you outboard engine.

About the population, I am mentioning that subject because many people forget that the entire country of Belize has the population of a small city in the US (270,000). Yes, we have about 300,000 overnight tourists on a yearly basis, but they only stay here an average of 5 days (not 365 like the rest of us).

I agree that a good bakery is an excellent idea, but can you make a living with that? I sure hope so, because I would be a regular client! Do not forget though that the local gringo (and yes, the tourists) customers are a minority on the island.

And to respond to the restrictiveness in Business ventures, X-Dollars, X-income, X-months, etc - I am assuming that you are an American - have you ever seen the requirements for a British citizen to get a green card in the US? Guess Belize has comparable standards for allowing people here as many other "first world" nations have.

Now a little story of a British-Belizean friend of mine from Cayo: When complaining about being charged too much by a local trader, the trader asked him: "Would you want us to give newcomers to Belize a break while you had a hard time 35 years ago?" My friend answered: "No", and the trader said: "Well stop complaining then".

Hope this helps.

Live and let live
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