Dario Cox, general manager of Paramount Consultants and Agents, yesterday of-fered suggestions on jump-starting the island's economy during the financial decline.

Cox, who was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport's weekly meeting yesterday at the Ruby Swiss restaurant, said that while no one can predict when the financial turmoil will end, many would agree that things will get better.

 
Dario Cox, general manager of Paramount Consultants and Agents, yesterday of-fered suggestions on jump-starting the island's economy during the financial decline.

Cox, who was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport's weekly meeting yesterday at the Ruby Swiss restaurant, said that while no one can predict when the financial turmoil will end, many would agree that things will get better.

"At best we are all making guesses based on the past and we know that the past does not necessarily determine what the future will be," Cox said, adding that government intervention, foreign investors and bailouts only create a pathway to recovery.

"We need to determine what we can do to help our situation. While there are few that try to help the masses others are simply looking for someone else to do it for them."

Cox said that now is the time to build and add vigour and life to Grand Bahama's economy by first becoming good stewards of our fi-nances, no matter the range of our wealth.

"If we make less, we need to spend less and look at managing it and making sacrifices. We should be urged to give up something that we normally would not have gave up."

Cox said that generally Bahamians have adopted a high consumer mentality from our neighbours and this must be controlled.

He said that residents can also patronize the local businesses which is something that has been stressed for years. However, Cox said that local businesses would also have to become more efficient and effective in regard to pricing.

"In this world of e-mail and the Internet we can go online and see what something cost abroad and order it," Cox said.

" If the local prices are that much different customers are going to find a way to get a product elsewhere, but if the prices are moderately above that which you would have spend abroad, persons would spent a few more dollars to have the product now."

Cox called upon the business owners to help the economy push ahead by reducing some of their profits and contributing to the way they want the economy to go.

He stressed that budgeting and planning is also very important, even though many people feel that it only applies to businesses.

"A budget should apply to our personal lives. It is a road map to help us know where we are going and how we are going to get there."

Cox said that Bahamians should also engage in do-mestic tourism instead of contributing to economies abroad.

"We have to spark the hope for our economy and we have to dare to dream, reach for our goals, help ourselves, because bailouts will provide for now but vision will feed the future," he said.

"Our economy can once again become vibrant but we have to keep the faith, remembering that faith without works is dead."