BVI News

Over 1,000 of VG population gone; businesses battered

Along with the destruction of ‘countless’ businesses and subsequent job-losses, the island of Virgin Gorda saw a significant drop in its population following the two category-5 hurricanes last September.

That is according to Sister Islands Programme Coordinator, Vincent Wheatley.

He painted a grim picture of the second most-populated island in the territory.

“Pre-hurricane Irma and Maria, Virgin Gorda’s population, I would say, was about 4,000. Right now, it’s probably less than 3,000,” Wheatley said during the Honestly Speaking radio programme yesterday.

“We lost a lot of persons and, needless to say, we lost countless businesses. It is just so hard on these people because these businesses will not be reopened anytime soon. The earliest is later this year but it’s looking more like next year.”

Wheatley also bemoaned the hard impact to the island’s revenue stream.

Like the rest of the territory, Virgin Gorda relies heavily on tourism.

“It is really sad to see what happened to Little Dix Bay that was just remodelling and getting ready to open for December last year and to be totally destroyed by Irma in September. We also lost places like Saba Rock, Bitter End, Biras Creek Resort, and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) so we are talking about hundreds of persons immediately out of work.”

The Valley on a high

However, Wheatley said things are looking ‘a little better’ in the Valley on Virgin Gorda. He said a number of businesses have reopened since the disasters.

Businesses such as Top of the Baths, Coco Maya Restaurant, Fischer’s Cove, Chez Bamboo in North Sound and Leverick Bay are now back up and running.

He further said Hog Haven is expected to be operational by the end of January.

“We are still looking forward to having new businesses reopen [too],” Wheatley noted.

He said the yachting sector associated with Virgin Gorda is also showing signs of life.

“We are also seeing boaters coming back, persons who have been coming to Virgin Gorda for the last 40 years; even though the place is not 100 percent, they are back,” Wheatley stated.

He said these persons are interested in assisting the island and its residents and are doing all they can to ensure the acclaimed ‘gem of the BVI’ returns to its former glory.

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  1. E. Leonard says:

    The decimation of property, loss of jobs and change of circumstances was swift but the recovery will be painfully slow. Loss of employment, coupled with population loss, will reduce demand, placing additional challenges on businesses. It is a challenging time for both consumers and businesses. However, the low demand for good and services should not result in a sharp rise in prices, for this will further dampen the demand and further exacerbate business challenges.

    Lower prices motivate consumers to buy more to extend the purchasing power of the dollar; even in these challenging times of low demand and shortages, businesses should lower their profit margin and build trust with consumers/customers. Customers will punish businesses that they perceived are charging unreasonable prices in these challenging times.

    • Disinterested says:

      Nice varnishing of the greed being displayed some businesses; bring it unvarnished. Let’s face it, some businesses are shamefully greedy. They should be ashamed but they got no shame. Their aim is exploiting the poor suffering consumers. I say sacrifice and boycott the no good bas……..ds. Hope the consumer protection legislation does not grow moss on the Premier’s desk. It is decades over due so let’s see if it were worth waiting for. Hope is not bare gum and no teeth. Anyone doubt it was delayed for a reason?

      • Albion says:

        People who constantly complain about how businesses are run in a disaster zone are usually not the people who have to face the daily challenges of trying to run one.

        After Irma businesses have to deal with looted stock, employees who fled, destroyed premises, destroyed equipment, huge delays at ports with shipped goods… and despite all these increased costs everyone reacts with shock and comes with negative blogs when businesses put their prices up just and avoid going bust and leaving more people unemployed.

        Try walking a mile in their shoes before you log onto your computer and spend all your time criticizing.

        • Disinterested says:

          No doubt you support the shameless price gouging of some businesses after the hurricane. No one is saying that businesses should not make it profit; profit making is core of business operations; its life. But the shameless price gouging and highly inflated price. Where is the compassion? It is Shylock like behaviour. Do they have no conscience? The behaviour of some landlords are shameful, ie, raising rent in the middle of a crisis, attempting to evict tenants to charge rents……..etc. Self interest always trumps public interest. Sad.

  2. Observer says:

    When reality steps in, this is what it looks like. Expats or locals, everyone is affected. A perfect example that we all need each other.

    • . says:

      we don’t need unappreciative expats. The expats of today are not worth coming to this country. They come to suck, not to assist. Wish we could find a way to stop them coming. I guarantee this Territory will be a great deal better without them. Not just the Caribbean expats, all the expats, especially the ones that accept wages below the minimum.

      • Online Now says:

        The expats are the ones leading the clean up and organising charitable donations. You only have to look at who is volunteering and pitching in.

        I imagine you do not live here but are throwing your nonsense from overseas.

      • wrong says:

        No Country continent or Island can live without expats or anyone else. Just like food and anything else imported you need the same in people it makes a great difference and you island or country survive and improve better and faster. With al that do bring some sort of crime and poverty but what don’t break you makes you stronger.

        Incorrect and Bullsh*t statement. down the line you will see your True back ground

      • Hater says:

        You sound bitter and miserable.

  3. Albion says:

    Depopulation is an economy killer. Very, very hard to maintain a functional businesses in a shrinking population, let alone expand and hire more people.

    • Not for the BVI says:

      Depopulation is necessary in the BVI because it is over populated. Where have you been. Guys on the side of the road daily looking for work that is not there. Crime sky high because of unemployment. Depopulation is needed.

  4. long time here says:

    I soon leave too. I on Trtla and after 41 years of here. I putting up with government BULL and poor infrastructure and badd people in high places, I gone soon. Not job lose, (I quit), it is bad roads, bad sewer and all Priemer can talk of is longer runway!! Get boats of Trelis bay, Fix Cane Garden and Brewers. Sorry I waited 41b years now I gone. Liars all.

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