Things are NOT all that good as "some" say

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First of all, before getting to the point of this thread, I want to give you a little background. Since several years ago I work in regional media advertising, practically covering the whole east coast (from San Pedro to Bavaro). I have been working in this area with Aster cable company, several independent cable companies, and an independent regional TV channel. My work makes me talk to local small and medium business owners who buy local advertising.

The never-ending, NEVER ENDING flow of their concern is this: Things are slow, things are flat out leveled, things are BAD. You hear this form the mouths of small and medium business owners who have furniture stores, electronic stores, clothing stores, an average small and medium sized business that does, maybe a million of pesos a month in invoicing, and more. Not even a micro small businesses that maybe invoice a hundred or two hundred thousand pesos a month. The people I talk to are SMB who employ 10-20-30 people. And in the last two years, I have not heard, from ONE SINGLE month, saying that "things are great, things are getting better by the day". The opposite, things are either flat out leveled "estamos sobreviviendo con la ayuda de Dios (we are surviving with the help of God)" or they are straight out ugly.

"No hay empleo, no hay dinero en la calle, la gente no compra (there are no jobs, there is no money in the streets, people do not buy)" are the complaints from small and medium business owners I hear all over. I have seen people showing me their notepads, where they write their sales figures (yes we are not that computerized here) where they show me how their restaurant, for example, is barely surviving, the owner not pocketing a single peso in a month in benefits but still giving job to 3 or 4 persons.

Local La Sirena is basically empty. In la Romana, JUMBO makes some money off Casa de Campo people. But go to Plaza Lama, the parking lot is full at 12 when people go eat lunch there, and then remains almost empty for the rest of day. But walk into a small business, and you may be the only one who has stepped in that day. The same history shows over and over, from San Pedro to Bavaro.

"These are the worst years we have liven through" say many of the small and medium business owners. We want the change, "soy peledeista pero que se vaya ya el que esta (I am a PLD supporter but I want the one [president] who is there, to go". A lot of SMB owners expressed great expectations from Danilo, and hope for the better. "Porque si esto no cambia, se acabo todo (because if this does not change, than game's over" say many small and medium business owners throughout the East region.

We are talking about the East region, where money flows in from tourism. Where there is huge company Central Romana. Where it is still more or less possible to find a job, even though a low paying job but job anyway. I cannot even imagine what small business owners in areas such as the South, NorthWest, or Bonao for example would be saying, where there is much less money flowing in from tourism and other industrial activities. Province of La Altagracia (Bavaro, Higuey) is the third richest province in the DR after Santo Domingo (Metro area) and Santiago (Metro area). But you hear the small business owners crying out in despair, trying to get a breath of what little breathing air is left.

I ask those (you know who you are) if things are so great, that they are building and opening several new malls with floor space equaling to EIGHT OLYMPIC STADIUMS El negocio de los mall - DiarioLibre.com WHY, I ask WHY, the small and medium business owners express the same concerns, same despair over and over, city to city, that things are NOT AT ALL GOOD. Santo Domingo is about 3 million people, right. But there are 7 million people more living in this country.

Things are good for some, for few. Those few reside in Santo Domingo, in some high rises in Naco, Piantini, Cacicazgos, and mansions in Arroyo Hondo. How many are they? A tiny fraction of the 10 million Dominicans. But leave the Mall Triangle in Santo Domingo, go east, go south, go north, and you will find that things are not at all the way you insist to portray. These are not my words. These are the words of countless small and medium business owners whom I talk to on every day basis and who struggle every day to pay their utility bills, rent, to pay many many employees who depend on them for their family subsistence.

I will end with two quotes. The first one I have heard in the barber shop, from one of the prominent business people in Higuey involved in the furniture business. This was about a year ago. "Yo soy peledeista, pero ese hombre deberia estar preso". The second one, a client of mine who owns a car service center (tires, oil, etc.) said "Aunque soy del partido blanco, para el bien de mi querido pais, espero que Danilo haga buen trabajo, el parece estar mas serio...y espero que el Leon no se le m-e-t-a * mucho por el medio...por que si no, se nos llevara el mismo que nos trajo..."

* why did the system put starts in a word "se m-e-t-a" what is wrong with that?
 

Criss Colon

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Let Me Be The First,But Certainly Not The Last DR1er To Give You The "No Bull $hit"

Award!!!
Awarded this date on DR1!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honesty,Integrity,correctness,and especially,."NO SPIN"!!!!
Your post is the "Real Deal"!!!!!!
What's happening on the street in the DR,from someone who is living it everyday!
NOT "Spin" from Dominicans living "Afuera"!!!
We all know what is going on,it's just that a few with vested interest here don't want their "secret" to get out!
They are the guys who want to continue selling "The Emperor",.his "New Clothes"
AND,just like those clothes,there is nothing there!
The resident "Spin Meisters" do no one,except themselves, any favors with their "Pie-In-The-Sky",photo shopped,descriptions of the DR!
As I ALWAYS post here,"You Must First Recognise That You Have a PROBLEM,BEFORE you can solve The PROBLEM!
Yet again,"RH",a hearty "Well Done",Y "Bien Hecho"!!!!
 

Robert

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I agree 100% with Rubio's post. You can spin or post all the BS you want about the growth in tourism etc, but I have experienced it first hand, watched many clients go under or drastically cut back due to lack of business or negative growth over the past 5 years.

It's kind of funny that the most spin comes from Dominicans that don't even live in the DR. I guess in some ways they are smart and escaped?
 

Ken

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No question that it is very slow in Sosua. Lots of very discouraged people. What does a poor Dominican who has been giving his family a marginal existence for many years from a stand on Pedro Clisante do when there are so few people on the street and he goes for days without making even one sale? Walking by some restaurants you see more waiters waiting for customers than you see people at the tables.

All are hoping that high season will bring lots of people, not realizing that the government is instituting a program that will keep people away.
 

Expat13

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I think if the board did a poll of "who believes the DR is progressing towards a developing nation?" based on the "real" critical factors, I believe the results would be telling. The very few (4-5?) that would support the "positive" to my above statement, happen to be the members with the highest "post count"... These alone with all there glorious infrastructure photos and false promotion could lead an outsider to believe it really is a vibrant thriving country. I know it seems like most here are negative towards the DR and its future-their immediate reaction is "go home if you dont like it!" I dont believe this out of dislike for the DR, on the contrary, its disgust that such a beautiful country is being held back due to what CC always says "As I ALWAYS post here,"You Must First Recognise That You Have a PROBLEM,BEFORE you can solve The PROBLEM!" Our negative comments are the truth (most part) and we hope it may help wake-up those who ignore this reality, therefore creating change. It has to start somewhere!!!!
 

mountainannie

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They are building the malls to launder money

the stores they are bringing in are for the 1%

Cartier, et al

there is still big money in Moscow, the most expensive city in the world

so, since it gets cold in moscow and hot in cartegna

and we still need a laundromat

and for heavens sake, you know we have to SHOP for our new million dollar condos

that is why we need ikea.. just to furnish it up

it is only our sixth home, after all.

just a tiny stop///

until we get complete control of the government ... and then we can roll out our narcotrafficante paraiso and there will be lots of money for the vacationing cocaine lords and their minions....and lots of cheap servants and whores
 

mountainannie

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they do not yet have the judiciary completely

nor the army

and then there is that pesky interference from the USA and interpol

perhaps Paraguay and Uruguay look better to them now

on WHAT stats did IKEA open?

must have been NALS
 

bermyboy

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Rubio its the same here on the North Coast buds I have seen the decline in the 6 years being here yes people are survinving and still have tourists coming but not like it was years ago.I see busineses open then close a few months later I see new plazas opening and sitting empty. The one good thing the North coast has is good population of expats that spend money but even that is dwindling I see everybodies houses for sale. People getting tired of all the BullS@#t and going back home or moving on to other countries as things cintinue to get more exspensive and the corruption and crime rises. me I love the contry have figured out how to live here and basucally just chill but I am at the point now where selling everything and moving on seems to be a better option but I still love it here and my son and wife are here . I am looking forward to getting out of here for a bit and going back to worl later on this year so i can come back to see my sin and wife for a few weeks and head back to work. I agree they say tourist numb ers are up bla bla bla but really the touruists arent spending money they are getting packages deals for week vacations to Punta Cana where the money barely filters to the general population. Here on the North Coast Sosua and Cabarete are doing ok but its getting harder and harder but at least the $$ filter into the population here as there are hardly no AI hotels. So yea I totally agree Rubio the only people making real money in this country are the Drug Boys and all their supporting cast!
 

bob saunders

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Easy to recognize the desperate condition the country is in, but what are the solutions? Even if you wipe out coruption at the government level is that going to restore the businesses? The majority of Dominicans do not live off Expats spending.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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I will add that the opinions I presented are expressed by SMB owners, of the size of a medium-sized retail store that has 10+ employees. These are stores and businesses that have some financial cushion and are afforded credit terms by their suppliers. I am not even talking about micro businesses (2-3 employees) who don't get any credit and have to buy merchandise to stock by paying hard cash. Those are even worse off.

A client of mine whom I mentioned who has a car service center showed me a thick binder full of unpaid invoices from his customers. This kind of business lives and works on credit - supply and demand side likewise. He told me customers who have trucks, for example, buy a tire worth 10k pesos, and pay it in 400-500 pesos installments every couple of days (better cases) but sometimes take 3 months or more to pay off...with no interest charged, of course, for late payment (because if you do then they go elsewhere, where another hungry SMB owner will open his doors and offer welcoming hug in order to get his hands on the customer's 500-pesos now-and-then payment installment)...simply because cash flow situation is difficult. They pay when they can. This is a vicious circle, and in my native country after the fall of communism and when private business wild west age started (early to mid 1990's), this was called "secondary payment default".
 
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Ken

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Easy to recognize the desperate condition the country is in, but what are the solutions? Even if you wipe out coruption at the government level is that going to restore the businesses? The majority of Dominicans do not live off Expats spending.
Yes, I think wiping out corruption at the government level will do a lot to help restore business. All the reports prepared by outside agencies state that ending corruption is one of the primary things that must be done to promote investment.

Wiping out corruption at the government level would also mean there would be a lot more money to spend on programs that improve the quality of life of the Dominican people and basic infrastructure improvements.
 

Criss Colon

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I told my Dominican wife of 17 years today,as she drove me to the "Supermercado", that after all these years,I am "Dominicanisado 100%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was going to the cash machine to borrow money to buy groceries.When my $$$$$ come from OBAMA on August 1st. I will use those $$$$$$$$$$$ to pay off my bills for July,and then charge everything in August to pay off in Sept.!Well,not totally "Dominicanisado",I actually PAY my bills!
But close enough.
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mountainannie

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I think that there is money coming in.. just that it is not registering on the street

it is coming into condos and malls

construction has not stopped in sd.. maybe slowed but not stopped..

buildings are still under construction.. lights are going on in new condos here in gazcue, for instance,,,home of politicos....

and there is plenty of money going up to las terrenas.. land and lots and villas selling, i believe, although others know more than i about this

there was evidently a massive wave of tourism planned

otherwise why the new expensive foreign hotels in barahona? by the French? who know this island very very well... as well as the Spanish...

there was an alternate plan for development

with Columbia and folks from Sinohala

perhaps that may still work in some form
 

Bob Boyd

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Feb 3, 2004
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I have to agree with the above posts. Our business here on the North Coast relies mostly on foreign residents and even they are cutting back drastically on spending. I have said for years that with tourism, there are a small or very small percentage of people who see something here and want to stay, as happened with a lot of us here on this board. What really concerns me lately is not only has “high season” shrunk to a few weeks during the Christmas holidays and the airlines cutting back the number of flights over all which means fewer tourists, but now I see people wanting to leave because of the new draconian immigration policy. With restrictions, how many people will want anything more than a short vacation, if that?
 

mountainannie

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I agree 100% with Rubio's post. You can spin or post all the BS you want about the growth in tourism etc, but I have experienced it first hand, watched many clients go under or drastically cut back due to lack of business or negative growth over the past 5 years.

It's kind of funny that the most spin comes from Dominicans that don't even live in the DR. I guess in some ways they are smart and escaped?

Sadly I do not think that they escaped at all.. i think that they want very much to believe the spin.. which is kept spinning so that the remesas keep coming.

Stay with me

I had a friend who did a study of remittances for a grad paper . She was getting her masters courtesy of her employer, the Banco Central. And she did the Domincan community in NYC// which UNLIKE

any of the other communities which have been studied

are planning to return home for their retirement.

so they send money back to their communities,, and everyone tells them the spin a bit. oh yes, we are getting better, it will be fine for your return, look, new roads, new malls, new condos,,, seeeeeee,,,, the world loves us. But mami, it is hard with the children, you know, the lack of money for education... so if you could?
 

mountainannie

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the dominicans run the best con in the world

why else do yuo think that are playing with the big cartels?

anyone who does not know that |Dominicans made their fortune selling and laundering crack up the east coast do not know history... slavery, crack,

and soon to come

stalin

guns rum sugar molasses slaves diamonds guns africa moscow iran iraq

listen let us just rememember that we are upside down spinning on a rock in the Milky Way

and be grateful for staying on our feet

hold on tight
 

bob saunders

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I have to agree with the above posts. Our business here on the North Coast relies mostly on foreign residents and even they are cutting back drastically on spending. I have said for years that with tourism, there are a small or very small percentage of people who see something here and want to stay, as happened with a lot of us here on this board. What really concerns me lately is not only has “high season” shrunk to a few weeks during the Christmas holidays and the airlines cutting back the number of flights over all which means fewer tourists, but now I see people wanting to leave because of the new draconian immigration policy. With restrictions, how many people will want anything more than a short vacation, if that?
Is there a new draconian immigration policy - I thought things were not settled yet. The fact is the world economy, other than small pockets, is still in a recession/depression. Spain has 25 + unemployment...etc. The DR is affected by the world economy more so than NALS or Pichardo admit. My WestJet flight from Toronto on August 9th is full, so at least Canadians are still visiting in the off season.
 

Criss Colon

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The Beast "Spin Doctors in the WORLD,Are the "Dominican Yorks"

No matter if they live in Boston,Fall river,Miami,or anyplace else!
When I lived in Boston,the Dominicanos who "Worked" where I did,would ask me to drive by in my "Caddy"
while I took their picture.I said "can't you just sit in the car while I take your picture?"
They say that, "No,everyone does THAT!"
People at home don't buy that anymore,you MUST be driving in the stree!"
They even rent gold chains and jewelery from other Dominicans to wear home at Christmas.
They save all year to spend big at Christmas.
I guy who worked in the kitchen where I worked,making small money,took my wife and I out to dinner,with his "Pareja",and another couple at a fancy hotel in SD when he was here on holiday.Broke out his credit card and paid for everything!
I didn't see him for about 8 years,then he came to see me in SD.He was "Up The River" at a "Club Fed" for 8 years for drug trafficing!
He wanted me to hire him here in SD.
He explained that,"No Era Mi Culpa"!
I told him,"Y no es MI Problema!"
You can take a "Dominicano/a" out of the DR,but you can NEVER take the DR out of the "Dominicano/a"!!!!
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