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Anegada: The True Optimist

The Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA) visited with businesses in Anegada on Wednesday, 6 October 2021.  The team was eager to hear the concerns of the businesses and determine how to get their needs met.
The most urgent needs are listed below.

  1. More visitors are urgently needed.
  2. Government fees are becoming more and more unsustainable.
  3. Residents reported traveling to Tortola to pay for a work permit that was marked ‘complete’ only to learn that it wasn’t and have to pay to return to pick it up.
  4. The provision of government services needs to be increased.
  5. There is no ATM on the island to service residents and visitors, which can hinder business greatly.
  6. The final costs to get goods have greatly increased.
  7. The cost for tourists to access the island continues to increase.
  8. Street lights are needed.
  9. Many residents who have been assigned plats of Crown Land are still waiting to receive the titles.
  10. Many roads need to be fixed.
  11. The liquor license process should move to an annual fee (rather than bi-annual).
  12. Businesses need access to landlines as cell service is not reliable.
  13. A massive cleanup of wires/lines that were left after the 2017 hurricanes is needed.
  14. Considering that most Anegadians are also business owners, they were concerned about the upcoming increase in business license fees.
  15. There needs to be one central place to get all the updates to the protocols that are simple to read.
  16. Anegada should not be treated like other islands. They are unique, as are the needs of each island.
One salient point that can be made without ever talking to a business is that the island was virtually free of any tourists. With tourism being nearly their only pillar to support their livelihoods, the residents were eager to hear an update regarding the outlook for the season as 13 October 2021 nears.
Executive Director Keiyia George explained, “As you exit the ferry, the visitors to the island are mostly residents of the Virgin Islands. Businesses are closed. Those that are open see very few patrons. I think you can call things dire for Anegada, which has been like this for them since as early as February 2020. Considering they are further away from Tortola, each increase in the cost of doing business hits them harder. We all feel it, but it can cripple Anegada businesses.”

The next outreach visit will be to Jost Van Dyke that is currently scheduled for 11 November 2021. Virgin Gorda was visited on 28 April 2021. The information gathered will be used to make recommendations to policymakers.  As the Voice of Business, the Chamber will continue to advocate for a conducive business environment for all businesses in the Virgin Islands. If any policy or procedural-related decision affects your business or sector, please do not hesitate to report the concern at https://business.bviccha.org/form/view/20596. All reported matters will be handled with the strictest confidentiality.

For more information about the Chamber, you may visit www.bviccha.org. To join, click JOIN on the homepage or call the Chamber at 345-3513.
 

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