The Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs is working diligently to re-energise and stimulate the British Virgin Islands business community. In this regard, the department is pleased to announce the opening of its Business Centre, located on the ground floor of the Sebastian Building.
Director of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Mrs. Karia Christopher said, “Through our centre, businesses can have access to a functioning and comfortable space to take care of basic administrative tasks. The business centre will provide essential supportive services which include computer and internet access for the purpose of business operations, and we will also provide business counselling to entrepreneurs.”
The Business Centre is anticipated to be operational from mid-October, and will be accessible to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Appointments will be required to access the computer systems and to schedule business counselling. Interested businesses can telephone 486-9710 or 468-9553.
Mrs. Christopher said, “It is important for the Territory to become as self-sufficient as possible and the only way to achieve this is to stimulate the economy and help return some level of normalcy as much as we can.”
Immediately following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE announced the Director for the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Mrs. Karia Christopher as the Liaison Officer for the business community for the Territory’s rebuild. The Department subsequently identified priority areas of industry deemed necessary to support the British Virgin Islands business community. Some of these industries include:
- Grocery Stores
- Restaurants and Bakeries
- Construction Companies including Maintenance Companies
- Furniture Stores
- Hardware Stores
- Cleaning Companies including Laundromats
- Auto Repair Businesses
- Beauty Salons and Barber Shops
- Daycare and Pre-schools
- Fishing industry
The Director of Trade explained that the list of priority areas was generated based on the department’s database and the needs identified, once the department assessed the damage done to businesses. She further explained, “For example, we know that gas stations, bakeries and restaurants were in high demand.”
She reiterated that the list is not exhaustive and is a work in progress. Mrs. Christopher assured that the list will be reassessed as the recovery and rebuilding process for the business community continues. She added, “We know that there are other areas that are in high priority, and the department is moving with businesses that they can assist directly. We also recognise that persons are having difficulties with communications at this time, and we will be making frequent visits to assess the progress of businesses in the community.”
If assistance is needed for businesses identified in the priority categories to resume operations to serve the community, the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs is asking business owners to visit the department on the second floor of the Sebastian Building in Road Town, where they can schedule an appointment with a Trade Inspector to visit their business for an assessment of support needed.