Press Release

Ministry of Financial Services, Labour and Trade
Release Date:
Monday, 12 June 2023 - 4:21pm

Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade, Honourable Lorna Smith, OBE will begin a series of district consultations to identify how the Government of the Virgin Islands can best support the Territory’s business community.

The first consultation will take place on June 21 and will focus on the Territory’s small and medium-sized business leaders.

Honourable Smith said, “Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME)s are the economic lifeblood of any country and in order to fully understand the needs of our SME leaders, it is important to hear from them directly on their priorities and challenges in order for them to continue to contribute to this economy.”

The Deputy Premier said she is making inroads on some of these matters but, to ensure that businesses can thrive, they need to be able to access the right skills and services.

“We were elected on a promise to help them do this, and I am committed to an ongoing working relationship with them to make sure it happens. I am truly looking forward to a good turnout and frank engagement between us,” she said.

Honourable Smith added that while tourism and financial services account for the majority of government revenues, 57% of the VI economic output in 2018 came from outside these sectors, and that there is a need to ensure that businesses have what they need to help drive economic growth.

Honourable Smith also announced that a review of the work permit system, has commenced and that she has met with banking leaders to see how they can better serve the people of the VI.

The schedule for the meetings is as follows:

  • June 21 Districts 4 and 5 - Maria’s by the Sea, Norman Island Room
  • June 26 Districts 7 and 8 - TBC
  • June 27  District 2 - TBC
  • June 28 District 3 - TBC
  • June 29 District 6 - TBC
  • June 30 District 1 - TBC
  • July 3 District 9 - TBC

All meetings will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The first meeting will combine Districts 4 and 5 and is scheduled to take place at Maria’s By the Sea. Venues for the other meetings will be announced shortly.

The Labour Commissioner will also be in attendance. Please contact Mrs. Darlene Forbes at 468-2096 for further information.





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