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Panama Relocation Tours included us in a recent conference call. It was great to reconnect after so many years. Thank you Jackie Lange!
When you first move to Panama, it will take awhile to learn where to go shopping for the things you really want or need. Sometimes people get frustrated because they can’t find a certain item to make their favorite recipe or the perfect accent piece for their new condo on the beach. I remember one time I wanted to make vegetarian enchiladas but I could not find chili powder anywhere in Boquete. I was not willing to drive 30 minutes to go to David. Luckily, I did find a McCormick Enchilada sauce mix, the main ingredient was chili powder, so I used that as a substitute. You WILL learn to substitute things in Panama! Now, when I find chili powder, or other things that I know are harder to find, I’ll buy 6 bottles so I know I always have some available.
Even if the item you are looking for is not available in the town where you live, it’s probably available in Panama City. But most people don’t want to fly to Panama City to go shopping. I HATE shopping anywhere!
THE SOLUTION: Luckily there is a great service in Panama City called SimplifyPanama.com! They will go shopping for you to find exactly what you need then they send it to you using a next day courier service.
Listen to the replay of the conference call when Julie, the owner of SimplifyPanama.com, talks about her shopping and concierge service.
Great article in 9°80° Magazine!
We’re so thrilled to be included in this national publication.
Simplify Panama – Make Life Easier
It’s a common story here. Tourist visits Panama, tourist falls in love with Panama, tourist moves to Panama and starts a new life.
And once they’re here, what next? How do they navigate through their transition? How do they find what they need to settle into their new life and perhaps start a new business? That’s where Simplify Panama will help.
Located in Panama City, Simplify Panama offers services throughout the country for small businesses and individuals. SP clients include small hotels, restaurants, construction contractors and other small businesses that need to source supplies, furniture, electronics, equipment, distributors, marketing materials and more. Small business services include project management, consulting, research, errands and shopping.
Simplify Panama is the duo Julie Colosso Broce and Hans Wilson. They started visiting Panama regularly from 2003, and finally moved here in 2010. After managing two remote hotels and working with a specialty food and wine importer, they chose to launch their own business, a business born of their own needs and experiences.
In this busy country, it’s time consuming to run a small business and tackle special projects. Small business people are often overloaded with responsibilities and have little time to spare. Simplify Panama offers professional assistance for those endeavors.
Remote living creates a challenge in obtaining even basic goods. It can be expensive and burdensome to leave a small business or busy life just to gather supplies.
Simplify Panama also offers concierge services. They will take care of VIP clients unfamiliar with the region, who may have difficulties with the language and need assistance while in the city.
Relocating to Panama? SP will help make the relocation transition smoother. They help folks shopping for a new home, car & getting settled. They also assist with pet relocation.
In and around Panama City, Simplify panama provides property management for full & part time residents. SP provides a personalized level of management for any real estate investment. After establishing the goals that owners have for their property, SP will tailor service to suit those particular needs.
When asked about their favorite project, they didn’t hesitate to wonder. One stood out above the rest. In June of 2014 the Floating Doctors, a wonderful non-profit organization that helps indigenous communities, had scheduled a surgery clinic for disabled children. It had all been scheduled with a local hospital far in advance, and the children were transported to the city, hours away from their rural moutnain and island homes. The doctors even brought in special equipment from the USA just for this event. Unfortunately one important item was missing. Test strips to determine the blood type of the patients. Without these, the doctors could not proceed.
That’s when Simplify Panama was contacted. In a race against time, they scrambled to connect with medical suppliers and find the necessary equipment. SP was able to obtain the supplies and ship them out on the next plane. The surgeries took place as scheduled, and 24 children were able to receive the medical care they needed. “This was by far the most important and rewarding thing we’ve done.”, said Simpilfy Panama director Julie Colosso Broce.
“We enjoy helping people. Finding things in Panama can be a real challenge. For us It’s fun and rewarding. It’s like a treasure hunt.”, said Hans Wilson.
With their wealth of experience, local and national networks, the team of Simplify Panama can quickly and efficiently take care of time consuming tasks. Simplify Panama offers an eye for detail and quality – when and where it is needed. Just as their name explains, they really do simplify Panama.
Thanks to Jackie Lange of Panama Relocation Tours for including us in her Expat Business Focus.
The Panama economy is booming and that creates opportunity…
I’d heard about Julie’s company and decided to put it to the test a few weeks ago…
… SimplifyPanama.com can help you locate construction materials, computer supplies, buy a car, locate an apartment or just take you shopping. Julie knows where to find things in Panama. You name it and Julie is ready to assist.
Boquete and David stores have many more products than they did 4 years ago when I first came to Panama. But there are still some things you can only get in Panama City… Julie’s SimplifyPanama.com fills a need! Panama City is so big it is hard to find anything unless you know exactly where to go. Julie knows where to go!
When did you move to Panama?
I moved to Panama four and a half years ago.
Where did you move from?
Portland, Oregon USA
Where do you live in Panama and why did you pick that area?
Panama City. I am here because of the work opportunities.
Tell us about your business and how you got started.
I spent the first couple of years in Panama managing hotels and as a buyer for a gourmet food and wine importer. My plan was to open my business, but wanted to get a feel for Panama first. During those years, I realized what I felt was needed is small business services & concierge assistance for individuals.
Customer service in Panama is weak, and it’s difficult to find what is needed, especially for busy business owners in remote areas who can’t leave their businesses. Simplify Panama has been well received, and nearly all of our clients come to us by word-of-mouth. We have clients throughout the country. In fact, one of the hotels I managed is a client.
Was it difficult to set up your business in Panama?
I was already aware that government bureaucracy and red tape would be a hurdle in opening my business. Having lived in Panama for a few years, I planned ahead and took my time going through the process of starting my business. I didn’t find the process difficult, just time consuming. Perhaps I’d heard enough stories to expect the worst, so I was pleased that it wasn’t as difficult as I’d anticipated. My advise to anyone planning to open a business is to be prepared. Have all documentation in order.
If you could relocate to Panama all over again, what things would you do differently?
My initial reaction was to say that I would have opened my business sooner. But in reality, I needed the time here to learn everything that I needed know. If I’d opened sooner, I would not have been as well prepared. So, I really can’t think of anything I would have done differently.
What are your favorite things about living in Panama?
The warm weather, the proximity to both oceans and the mountains, the natural beauty and the wildlife.
What do you like least about living in Panama?
The garbage problem. There is a culture of throwing trash on the ground, in the sea, etc. Also the garbage collection and recycling programs are lacking. It has been getting better, but has a long way to go.
Do you have any tips for someone considering relocating to Panama?
Make sure to visit, stay a while, really get to know the place. Get to know some locals and get a sense of the local culture. Living on vacation is very different than living day to day. And of course, learn as much Spanish as possible.
In conclusion. . .
In Panama, you may not be able accomplish things the way you would in your country. But there is usually a way! Julie’s SimplifyPanama.com service sure does make life easier in Panama
Big thanks to WhyPanama.net for the mention. July 2013
A year ago we met a nice young lady at our favourite wine store and cafe – its like a bit of Europe in Panama. This young lady – Julie, was hired to help create this new store and source out the goodies other than the wine, that is their specialty. Julie did an amazing job. A year after the store opened she left and with her partner Hans, and started a new venture called Simplify Panama – great concept. Julie is from Portland Oregon and she and Hans had met many North Americans finding Panama difficult to navigate for things like property management, sourcing goods and services. So this new company – Simply Panama offers all these services for a fee. If you are a North American living in Panama or if you own a property in the city you want to rent – check them out. The site is located at www.SimplifyPanama.com – you will not meet a nicer person than Julie.