The US Virgin Islands has a growing business community that is represented by a strong chamber of commerce. The coalition of business leaders meets regularly to discuss the primary issues that affect businesses on the islands, like Cane Bay Partners, and to advocate for measures to protect those businesses. According to their website, the following are a few of their main concerns.
In order to increase jobs and lower the unemployment rate, the USVI needs to become a better place to do business. Above all, the chamber urges the government to invest in infrastructure in order to guarantee basic services to businesses and citizens alike. Some of the specifics they mention include less expensive and more reliable electricity, more tourism, and lower taxes.
The cost of energy has grown too high for many businesses to bear. In order to avoid further bankruptcies, the government needs to find a way to end the islands’ dependence on oil for energy. The chamber members encourage exploration of other solutions, such as solar power and wind power, that will relieve businesses of a large expense and leave them more money to invest in the quality of their services.
Lessening The Burden Of Taxes On Businesses
Taxation is another issue that is a cause for concern. The chamber argues that the current system places an unfair and unreasonable burden on businesses and needs to be reformed. Government spending should also be curtailed to decrease the need for taxation.
The chamber feels that all efforts should be made to facilitate tourism on the island and remove barriers to development. The income from vacationers and retirees can bolster the islands’ economy. To encourage more tourism, they recommend investing more money in public safety, hiring more police officers and providing more training to better ensure safety for all and to improve the islands’ reputation.
Developing A Skilled Workforce
The chamber also feels that investing in education and training for citizens will create a valuable workforce that will ultimately attract more businesses to the islands. They support school choice because they believe that competition will motivate schools to improve their services. They would also like to see increased opportunities for post-secondary education of all kinds.