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Premier reveals ‘priority’ businesses to help

Head of the Trade Department Karia Christopher

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith has named some ‘priority areas of industry’ that he said are being targeted as the Trade Department swings back into operation following widespread destruction of businesses and homes during category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria.

He said a fund will be available for the ‘priority area’ businesses in need of such support.

Premier Smith announced that priority areas at this time include: grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries, construction, furniture stores, hardware stores, cleaning companies including laundromats, auto repair businesses, beauty salons and barber shops, as well as beauty supply stores.

“The Department has identified [those and other] priority areas of industry that are needed to support our community,” the territory’s political leader said today, September 27.

He stated that business owners should visit the Trade Department to make an appointment for assessment and possible assistance.

“If assistance is needed for those [priority area] businesses to get up and running to serve the community, the Trade Department is asking business owners to visit the department, where they can schedule an appointment with a Trade Inspector to visit their business for an assessment of support needed.”

“Within a short period, the Trade Department’s business centre will also be up and running so that businesses can have access to a functioning and comfortable space to take care of basic administrative tasks. In addition, businesses will have access to a fund to support their redevelopment.”

Premier Smith also reiterated that he has been meeting with business owners in the various districts, adding that he is impressed with discussions coming out of the Second Electoral District.

“As I mentioned before, I have been hosting a series of meetings with the business community throughout our islands. Tuesday, I met with business owners in the Second District. I believe we had a healthy conversation about their needs, but also how Government can improve our present outreach in support of businesses getting up and running and also the rebuild of the territory.”

“I was also impressed that Cane Garden Bay businesses owners themselves identified lessons learned from these hurricanes. Particularly, they mentioned the need to rebuild primarily with the environment in mind and preservation of the Cane Garden Bay beachfront to maintain their tourist attraction,” added Premier Smith.

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