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BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association

From the Chairman's Desk: AGM 2021 Remarks - “Be a Part of the Solution”

Directors, Staff and Members of the BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association, good morning!

It is a privilege for me to stand before you this morning to share with you my excitement about this past year and why I am looking forward to 2022. When I became a member of the Chamber back in 2011, my only thought at the time was to be a part of the organization that was the Voice of Business and join the mission to make it easier to do business here in the Virgin Islands. Having worked in the Public Service before starting my own business, I understood the importance of the collaborative working relationship that should exist between the Private Sector and the Public Sector to facilitate economic growth and the overall development of the territory. Businesses provide the goods, services, jobs, taxes, and community service whilst the Public Service makes policy and regulates business activity. Ten years later, I am humbled to lead the team and be a part of the dynamic work of our organization to empower, equip and educate business owners for their sustainable success.

First, let me take a moment to extend thanks to the outgoing and current Directors for their contributions over the last year to the Chamber’s achievements. Also, on behalf of the Board of Directors and membership, I would like you to applaud our dynamic duo at the Chamber’s Office. Our Executive Director, Mrs. Keiyia Jackson-George, and Executive Assistant, Miss Shelly Richardson, have been “true Chamber champions” as they have worked tirelessly to support business owners over the past 22 months. The accomplishments you see in the 2020 Annual Report are the result of their dedication and perseverance despite the pandemic trials and tribulation. We’ve adapted as needed, and we will continue to strive to add more value to your membership in the coming year.

As we close out 2021, I need to recognise all business owners for the steadfastness they have shown in saving lives AND livelihoods despite the recession and increased costs of doing business both locally and globally. Let us continue to serve our community as the backbone of its economy, as the past four years have shown us that BVI business might get knocked down, but we always get back up!

We express special gratitude to the Chamber’s membership who renewed or joined despite the economic downturn. We understand, all too well, that revenue was scarce, and we are thankful that you chose to continue your membership. To show our gratitude, we are currently offering a discount on annual renewals if you refer a new member, and that new member will also get the same discount on their annual fees, so invite a business to join TODAY!!

As we look to 2022 with renewed hope “that this too will pass,” let us renew our commitment to the vision to be “being a driving force in the socio-economic development of our country." In Economics 101, you learn that the formula for the gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to Consumer Spending + Government Spending + Private Investment + Net Exports. When we think about it, entrepreneurs are the drivers for 75% of this equation and if given the right environment, are leading the charge for our economic recovery and future development. They do this by providing more goods and services for customers to purchase, starting-up new industries and expanding existing businesses, as well as exploring opportunities for the export of goods and services. In collaboration with the Public Sector, businesses hold the SOLUTIONS to strengthen and grow our economy.

With this in mind, the BVICCHA will continue to lead the charge in Advocating for an economic recovery plan, workforce development, better access to financing and making recommendations for policies, legislation, and public service improvement to better support doing business. The Chamber will continue to lead the charge in providing Resources through training workshops, business coaching, marketing services, and a young entrepreneurship program. And we will lead the charge in facilitating local and regional Connections amongst business owners and consumers through business expos, trade missions and networking events.

Remember, there are three types of people in the world – those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. In 2022, if we all choose to be a part of the SOLUTIONS, the Virgin Islands will be a wonderful place to live, work and DO BUSINESS!

Thank you.

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