Simmons Electrical

Alvin Simmons Shorts a Circuit?

Submitted by Suck Salt blog

HarlequinBarbadosThe restart of works at the Harlequin property in Christ Church has set tongues and tails wagging. See the back page of yesterday’s Nation (Mar/21/2016), or click here for the short version of the article. The story features Simmons Electrical and their difficulties in getting payment for their work at Merrick’s and Harlequin Boutique Hotel as a result of H’s sudden departure from Barbados a few years ago.

Since then, Alvin Simmons is still indebted to his bankers and has had to lay off several employees. Simmons was not alone, as were other businesses, Government entities and ulitmately, the Barbadian tax payer.

Simmons believes that his company’s experience illustrates “the need for measures to protect local companies when they partnered with overseas investors.” He went further and said: “I would hope that going forward our Government puts in place the necessary infrastructure to prevent or to protect people like myself in the industry, and to ensure that certain securities are put in place to mitigate that, because at the end of the day the Government of Barbados is a direct beneficiary of all investment that comes into Barbados.”

A few questions come to mind:

  1. Mr. Simmons, had you not been “burned” by Harlequin, would you still be calling for these Government measures?
  2. Mr. Simmons, are you also not a beneficiary of investment that comes into Barbados, either directly or indirectly?
  3. Mr. Simmons, you’ve worked on several contracts before, large and small, local and foreign, what level of due diligence did you carry out before deciding to get into bed with Harlequin et al?
  4. Mr. Simmons, are you not aware that in any business, from selling sno-cones to your own, that there are risks involved and that you as a business person should try to calculate and mitigate them as best as possible?
  5. Mr. Simmons, do you recognize the potentially negative signal that you are sending to the overseas investment community when you call for Government measures and infrastructure to protect local entities from the risk of working with overseas investors?
  6. Mr. Simmons, can you expand on what sort of measures and infrastructure you would have Government put in place to protect people like yourself in the industry? Do you mean a bail out fund? And if so, funded by whom, the Barbadian tax payer?

Mr. Simmons, we truly hope that justice will be served and served swiftly. We are especially sorry to hear about the staff that were laid off as a result of the Harlequin affair. But to call on Government to put measures and infrastructure into place to protect businesses from the consequences of their own actions and decisions is asking a tad bit to much. This is a moral hazard.

One final question, Mr. Simmons, whilst researching this article, we came across this. What was the outcome?

Previously on Cherry Picking the Barbados Flag. Suck Salt is a quasi-satirical blog. Questions or comments should be sent to:

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11 Comments on “Alvin Simmons Shorts a Circuit?”

  1. David March 23, 2016 at 6:28 AM #

    @Suck Salt

    Another question you should have asked is on what basis Harlequin has been allowed to restart in Barbados with liabilities owed to local Simmons included.


  2. pieceuhderockyeahright March 23, 2016 at 6:40 AM #

    @ suck salt

    You said “Mr. Simmons, can you expand on what sort of measures and infrastructure you would have Government put in place to protect people like yourself in the industry? Do you mean a bail out fund? And if so, funded by whom, the Barbadian tax payer?..”

    I neither know nor care about Simmons.

    What I want to speak about is local and foreign shysters ripping off local contractors and leffing us holding the shyty end of the stick while they go on to other tricks elsewhere

    De ole man is not an economist nor is I a architect or a quantity surveyor but I gine mek a suggestion to you.

    When a company come tuh Bulbados dem come tuh build someting right and dat sumting got quantiles and costs right?

    Dem cost doan jes appear ovah night right?

    When we does be building we house an’ de bank gi’ we a mortgage we does only get de nex defined and quantifiable tranche upon certification by de quantity surveyor or de body de bank appoint to we project right?

    So Harlequin supposed tuh build a building fuh $100 dollars which gine tek $10 a munt fuh 10 munts of which $5 dollars is tuh finance all de cuntractors like Simmons and de udder $5 is to pay Downlowe and Fine Ants million dollar house and put in you muddah bank accunt

    Dis iPad acting up bad I jes can’t get um to type an “o”

    Suck Salt, so as to protect de local cuntractors you doan feel dat de same way peeple heah feels at lawyers ent suppose tuh gots de client accunt money at dem disposal and it should be in a virtual escrow accunt whey de client can see um en ting, you ent feel dat dese foreign investors should be made to deposit real hard currency at de central bank and cuntractors be provided wid assurances dat de money heah, BEFO DEM RUN UP BIG BILLS?

    Whu aftah all if de central bank governor cud hold Leroy Parris Sorry CLICO money at Spry Street, some sorta mechanism could be made fuh all local cuntractors whu you tink?


  3. David March 23, 2016 at 6:51 AM #

    Investors should be asked to setup some kind of performance bond.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well Well & Consequences March 23, 2016 at 7:23 AM #

    Good one from Suck Salt.

    By the way, did the known crooks on the island, minority business people who steal from the taxpayers every day, every month, evrry year, every decade without fail and with the help of bribed government ministers……lose any money from the Cahill scam, these crooks were either named in the Cahill scam agreement, or were silent partners….they were chasing down Clare Cow-an….just like the ministers…did they lose any money, or was the scam designed for only taxpayers to lose everything, including their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gabriel March 23, 2016 at 9:25 AM #

    Advice to Simmonds.I read somewhere that David Ellis was doing some PR work for Harlequin.Why not call him to intervene on your behalf,seeing that if you were working for me,an average Bajan and I didn’t pay you on time,you would have held up my project before I could say tawmadums.


  6. Suck Salt Editor March 23, 2016 at 12:13 PM #

    @ David

    “Another question you should have asked is on what basis Harlequin has been allowed to restart in Barbados with liabilities owed to local Simmons included.”

    An excellent question! Allow us to do a Sinckler: We are conceding to that particular fact…



  7. NorthernObserver March 23, 2016 at 12:57 PM #

    Caveat emptor.
    The ONLY role the gov’t has is ensuring legislation is in place to protect. After that, it is up to the respective parties to use that legislation.
    Contractors are as notorious as developers for ‘playing games’.
    No occupancy permit should be granted by the chief building official until all liens are removed, even if this means ‘funds in escrow pending a legal verdict’.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gabriel March 23, 2016 at 1:37 PM #

    The only role the Govt has,as evidenced by this Freundel Stuart administration,is to tax and spend.Fullstop.


  9. racehrse March 23, 2016 at 4:02 PM #


    I agree with a required performance bond requirement. This surety should be required of all parties(developers and contractors) and a part of their contract. They’re also whats known as a mechanics lien where the contractor(s) can place a lien against the property/project and foreclose for non-payment.


  10. yatinkiteasy March 25, 2016 at 10:01 AM #

    Would be interesting to know if Harlequin is up to date on payments of Land Tax and other Government obligations such as NIS and Inland Revenue…not only for H Hotel site , but the much larger Merricks project that also came to a halt suddenly, a few years ago. If Simmons is owed money , it would be a fair guess that many other contractors are also waiting for payment.


  11. David March 25, 2016 at 10:02 AM #

    What is the role of the BRA in this transaction?


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