At the end of a long day, I love to unwind by catching up on the latest documentary on Netflix, or taking the edge off with a comedic sitcom. Pop culture has always been extraordinary at making us smile, while also influencing ideas and culture. One of our favorites at Dell Technologies is The Big Bang Theory which will come to a close this season.For the last 12 years, Dell Technologies has integrated products into not only the show, but the lives of the characters we have grown to love. Our Dell XPS M17 gaming laptop made its debut on episode 1 of season 1, which later evolved into the Alienware M17. The Alienware 17 R3 played a role in many of the episodes last season. We have watched as the show and its founder changed the perception of the tech industry and removed barriers to entry for students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).Four years ago, Chuck Lorre and the primary cast created The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund at UCLA. This scholarship was established to support undergraduate students with promising academic merit in need of financial aid, who are pursuing higher education in the fields of STEM. Fifty-two percent of UCLA students receive need-based scholarships, grants or other aid, and almost one-third of UCLA graduates have parents who didn’t graduate from a four-year college or university. I had a chance to meet 17 of these scholars at a recent ceremony celebrating their tremendous achievement. We were so thrilled to contribute to this initiative and support the mission of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund that we also sent our future change makers off with Alienware m15 laptops.Advancing underrepresented groups in technology and cultivating inclusion is a top priority for Dell Technologies. It’s critical to the success of our business. By 2024, there will be 1.1 million technology jobs, so it is imperative that we ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills to thrive in a digital world, and candidly, we need as much talent as possible to fill those jobs to meet the needs of the rapidly transforming world around us.New and different collaborations are critical to breaking through and ensuring technology is a field accessible to ALL and representative of ALL. In addition to our work with The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund, we work with a number of organizations to increase curriculum at the K-12 level. We’re also investing in partnerships at the university level with historically black colleges and universities to develop curriculum and programs to reskill and bring underrepresented groups access to training they need to pursue jobs in technology. And we continue to partner with peers on coalitions like Reboot Representation and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion that address key obstacles for our industry overall.As I reflect on the last 12 years and, prepare to wave goodbye to the show, I’m so proud of the progress we have made together, and how the show has changed cultural stereotypes and had broad reaching impact on the communities it serves. Because together we can do and achieve so much more, and have the lasting impact our future needs.
Owed taxes to M&CCThe Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has requested that Mayor of Georgetown, Ubraj Narine provide a list of the businesses that owe taxes to the entity after it was announced last week that over 140 city businesses owe City Hall taxes.GCCI President Nicholas BoyerOn Tuesday, the GCCI encouraged the Mayor to release the names of those who owe outstanding taxes while also expressing that the body is extremely disappointed by the “public and broad brush attack on the integrity of the entire business sector” by the Mayor.In fact, the GCCI said it looks forward to being briefed on M&CC’s plan for the city as well as its financial position.On Friday last, Mayor Narine called a press conference where he complained that over 140 city business proprietors have failed to pay taxes which results in the build-up of garbage in Georgetown.However, the GCCI, which represents businesses in the city and on the outskirts of the country, said that the remarks shared by Narine were rather “displeasing”.“The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) notes the recent public comments of His Worship, The Mayor Ubraj Narine, which it finds displeasing to the intended spirit of a recent meeting convened with the new Mayor at which the Chamber extended an olive branch to discuss issues, not limited to but including those, which may be hindering the City Council’s collection of taxes,” the body stated.Further, GCCI used the opportunity to announce its willingness to work along with the Mayor in the interest of the business community and the maintenance of well-kept environs.According to the Chamber, all of its members are mandated to adhere to its code of conduct, which includes respect and adherence to all legislative framework, inclusive of tax payments.“The GCCI has always stood on the side of the rule of law and will continue to encourage all businesses in Georgetown, both members and non-members of the GCCI, to be responsible in their civic duty of paying taxes,” the Private Sector body assured.It further stressed the importance of businesses, noting that they create employment and economic activities to benefit everyone.The Chamber added that it is of the view that partnerships between businesses and regulatory bodies are vital to the success of the country as it allows both sides to express issues and concerns in an environment where a solution can be crafted collaboratively.In an interview with Guyana Times, President of the GCCI, Nicholas Boyer said he is cognisant of the fact that some businesses in the city may run away from paying their taxes, however, he believes that direct appeals should be made to those establishments, rather than label every organisation with the same title.“Before you got to that stage of just calling out high-end businesses and so those comments may start to create a more contentious atmosphere…we understand why he is doing it because he may feel like these businesses have not been paying taxes over such and such a period so maybe he feels frustration,” Boyer explained.He added that the Chamber could have played the part of a mediator between those errant businesses and City Hall and seized the opportunity to encourage businesses to pay up their dues to M&CC.The Mayor had complained on Friday last that the overflow of garbage in the city was as a result of damages to the tyres of the lone tractor owned by the City Council.A replacement of the tyres is difficult to obtain locally, he said, which saw the garbage bins throughout Georgetown being left unattended for the past three days. Further, it is expensive to buy new tractors, the Mayor noted.The Mayor then lambasted some 144 “high-end businesses” in Georgetown which have failed to pay their taxes and who owes City Hall billions.According to Narine, City Hall is willing to procure two additional tractors, however, this is difficult since the finances are unavailable.The Mayor went on to urge those businesses to pay up monies owed, which will make the work of City Hall less strenuous since according to Deputy Mayor Alfred Mentor, the monies for the tractor cannot be obtained from the Communities Ministry.City woesEven as City Hall has complained against errant taxpayers, it was revealed last October during a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) that the agency has been awaiting payments from M&CC for rates and taxes dating back to 2016, while there has also been an examination of pension payments to a broker insurance company that has not been paid for the past 19 months.Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Ron Simbhu told the Commission that City Hall is guilty of outstanding taxes, which have been owed for 2016, 2017 and 2018.While they were unable to divulge the amount as part of its agreements with the client, Simbhu positively stated that these payments were not made.Instances of outstanding payments continued throughout the hearing as the Deputy Managing Director of Insurance Brokers Guyana Limited, Ewart Adams, was called to the stand to testify.“The last payment of $776,523 was in February of 2017,” Adams said.It is estimated that over $14.5 million is unpaid for the pension plan, with an additional $9,566,304 for the fire and motor insurance payments.Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine