A full house of guests mixed and mingled last Saturday, at the grand opening of ATL Automotive Group's BMW and MINI Showroom on Lady Musgrave Road in St Andrew. It was a festive atmosphere, at the newly constructed facility, with Jamaica's political hierarchy, which included Prime Minister Andrew Holness, interacting with the island's business sector, diplomats, academia and other invited guests. The event had a festive atmosphere with a fairly light official programme, during which Holness urged the business sector to invest in projects like Sandals Resort International, ATL Autobahn and Marriott International facility, which will also include a lifestyle centre, with a hotel, conference centre, restaurant, spa and gym when completed, at a cost of US$50 million. See photos in the gallery below: [image_gallery] Holness said the government is ready to partner with private investors and make the necessary financing and policies available for an investor-friendly economy. “The government is working very hard to ensure that every single Jamaican entrepreneur who has the industry, the drive, the enterprise, the entrepreneurship, can, in the Jamaican environment, take the risk and invest,” Holness said. The first-world designed U$15 million facility took just 10 1/2 months to complete after the announcement in January and will include a 10-car BMW showroom, a four-car MINI display, hand-over bays, eight lift centres and Jamaica's first ever M lounge. It will also house a BMW/Mini training room for the Caribbean region.

Knutsford Express captured the National Commercial Bank's (NCB) Nation Builder Award on Tuesday evening at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel The nod was given to Knutsford Express, in a black-tie event at the ballroom of the hotel, ahead of Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances Limited and Fontana Limited. Chief Judge Harold Davis said this year's nominations were of a high quality, with some of the companies showing progression, as they were nominated in previous years in smaller categories, but returned in the top Nation Builder Award category. Davis said the quality gave the judges renewed conviction that the Jamaican small business sector has the ability to make continued real and sustained economic impact in Jamaica. NCB's Acting Head of Retail Banking Division, Brian Boothe, said the awards recognise SME business in Jamaica, irrespective of their size. He said that the format was changed from companies nominating themselves, with systems being put in place for the bank's network to give nominations. He said these nominations were assessed by an autonomous panel and the result from this, audited by PriceWaterhouse, with the winners receiving the highest ranking points in the respective category. [image_gallery] The secondary prize, the Innovation Award went to Complete Nutrition Diet Care Centre, which is owned by Janet Rankine, is a healthy food-based company. Complete Nutrition Diet Care Centre defeated politician Damion Crawford's Crafton Holdings Limited, Black Ink Marketing and Event Solutions Limited. Meanwhile, Internet Income Jamaica Limited, which is owned by Andrew Reid, son of reggae singer Junior 'One Blood' Reid, copped the Young Entrepreneur Award. Internet Income Jamaica, which teaches how to make money online, defeated Sprytraining Fitness Limited and JIA Group of Designs. The winner of this award, must be under 35 years. Special recognition Middle Market Awards were given to Vikings Production Group, Sanmerna Paper Products Limited and Kingston Bookshop.

Loop News' Kevoy Burton and Shanique Hayden present your weekend guide.

It's the penultimate weekend before ChristmasDay. Sure there are many things to do! And we are not talking about shopping. Check out the latestLoop Weekend Show for some activities you can consider. Watch the video below.

Reggae legend Bunny Wailer performs at 'Rootsman Skanking' in November. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Rootsman Skanking will be a new performance show coming from the camp of internationally acclaimed reggae artiste, Bunny Wailer, who is affectionately called Jah B. According to his son, Asadenaki, who is the organiser of the event, the aim is to bring young reggae acts together with veterans, to bridge the gap. He said it is also a part of highlighting the culture of Rastafari as well as to help in bringing people to the Bunny Wailer Museum. Asadenaki, himself a budding reggae artiste, said, “the idea behind Rootsman Skanking is about building a bridge between the veterans and the young. It is about ‘vibing’. Reggae is important to preserve, so it is important that we come together and have this kind of intergenerational exchange.” Rootsman Skanking will be held quarterly, according to Asadenaki, and the first was held recently at Bunny Wailer’s Washington Gardens, St Andrew residence, which also hosts the museum. During the first staging, patrons got the opportunity to get acquainted with the Rastafari ‘livity’, including the natural food, which Asadenaki said was served in a calabash that was taken home by those who purchased from the menu. Bunny Wailer also performed at the free event and featured in a set with Asadenaki, who said it was the first time that they were performing together in front of an audience. That first show was also used to celebrate Jah B’s Order of Merit, which was bestowed upon him by the Jamaican government in October. There was a good turnout at the event despite persistent rain throughout the day of the event. Loop News’ photographer was there to share highlights. See slider below. [image_gallery]

Jamaica Scorpionsfailed to chase down Windward Islands Volcanoes' first innings total of 226 for nine declared, and are now struggling in their day/night seventh round match in the Digicel Regional Four-Day Championship, at Warner Park in St Kitts. Resuming Friday's second day on 33 without loss, the Scorpions suffered a big collapse and then decided to declared on 112 for nine, still 114 behind. Batting a second time, Volcanoes reached143 for three at close of play to take control of the match with 256 runs ahead. Earlier, the Scorpions lost nine wickets for just 79 runs against the bowling of Sherman Lewis, four for 36 and Kyle Mayers, four for 32. Opener John Campbell top scored for the Scorpions on his overnight score of 29. Campbell's opening partner,Trevon Griffiths (three) also failed to add to his overnight score. Lower order batsman Derval Green scored 25 from 27 balls. SCORES: Windward Islands Volcanoes226 for nine decl. (Devon Smith 107 not out, Kirk Edwards 57 (Christopher Lamont 4-52, John Campbell 2-35) and and 142-3 (Devon Smith 75). Jamaica Scorpions 112-9 declared (John Campbell 22, Derval Green 25;Sherman Lewis 4-36, Kyle Mayers 4-32. OVER AT GUYANA NATIONAL STADIUM: Three-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars have taken charge againstLeeward Islands Hurricanes in their day/night contest. Resuming the second day on 276 for 8, the Jaguars posted 417 and then reduced the Hurricanes to 114 for nine at stumps with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul taking six for 21 from 12 overs. The Hurricanes are trailing by 303 runs. SCORES: Guyana Jaguars417 (Anthony Bramble 196Shiv Chanderpaul 51, Gudakesh Motie 47; Rahkeem Cornwall 3-117, Mervyn Mathew 2-31). Leeward Islands Hurricanes 114-9 (Shane Burton20, Devon Thomas 20; Veerasammy Permaul 6-21. OVER AT THE BRIAN LARA CRICKET ACADEMY: Barbados Pride are in control against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force. Resuming day two on 267 for five, the Pride were bowled out for 316 and then restricted Red Force to 145 for eight at stumps, still 171 runs behind. Left-arm spinner JomelWarrican ended the day as the best bowler for Pride with six for 53. SCORES: Barbados Pride 316 (Shamarh Brooks 96, Jonathan Carter 72, Kevin Stoute 31, Justin Greaves 30; Imran Khan 4-81, Daniel St Clair 3-73, Bryan Charles 2-58). Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 145-8 (Denesh Ramdin 74, Jeremy Solozamo 40; JomelWarrican 6-53) This is thefinal set of matches before thelong break for the Christmas/New Year's holiday. Guyana Jaguars are well ahead of the pack with 97.2 points. Jamaica Scorpions are in second place with 67.8 points closely followed by T&T Red Force on 67.6 points. The top three are followed by Leeward Islands Hurricanes (57), Barbados Pride (56.8) and Windward Islands Volcanoes (32.8).

West Indies cricketersare set to receive moreflexible and enhanced contracts, including exclusive retainers for Test and limited-overs cricket. Previously, there were retainer contracts for a certain number of players, now there will be a number of retainer offers per category. The most respect will still be paid to Test cricket, as CWI CEO Johnny Grave’s policy will now pay the biggest retainers to players who play both Tests and One Day Internationals. The maximum retainer is more than US$300,000 inclusive of match fees. New contracts will come into effect on July 1, 2018. Already, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Mohammed, Evin Lewis, Rovman Powell, Ashley Nures and Kesrick Williams have been offered Category C contracts. Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, and Darren Sammy are reportedly to receive pro-rata contracts. While the CWI is yet to say what the new contracts will mean in terms of an increase, reports suggest that match fees will increase to US$5,000, up from the US$2,500 for Tests and US$2,500, up from the US$1,500 for T20Is and ODIs. The retainer contracts are also said to have improved significantly, with A contractors seeing the possibility of earning more than US$300,000, up from the 140,000 that previously existed.

A shooting incident on Monday night has left one man dead and one man warded in a serious condition. The deceased has been identified as Harry Bachan, of Sunset Drive, Benny Road, Valencia. The wounded man was identified as Gabriel Bedeau, 17, of Benny Road. According to police reports on Monday night officers received information of a shooting along Benny Road. Upon arriving, they found Bedeau on the roadway bleeding from multiple injuries. The wounded man was rushed to the Arima District Hospital where he was treated. However, due to the poor lighting along the roadway, Bachan’s body was not discovered until 7:30 am on Tuesday. Up to today, police have no one in custody for the killing. More on this as it becomes available.


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