Go East initiative moving forward

The three District Committees of the Go East initiative have been diligently meeting in recent weeks to ensure that several key initial tasks are completed.

Tourism Minister Charles Clifford, who has been spearheading the Go East Project, said members of the Bodden Town, North Side, and East End committees are primarily working to get more feedback from their communities for the initiative’s policy development, stated a press release.

‘They are also assessing what businesses currently exist, determining what types of businesses are needed, and identifying the entrepreneurs who need assistance within their districts,’ he said.

East End District Chairman Mervyn Conolly said, ‘Our primary role right now is to serve as a central point for our residents to give their input to the initiative’s policy. So we’re trying to provide ways for more of our residents to participate in this process by coordinating activities and reaching them with essential information.’

Mr. Conolly said one of the ways his committee plans to reach the people is through a survey specifically designed for East End.

‘The two-page survey will give us an idea of the current business practices of residents, such as their shopping options and preferences,’ he said.

‘We will be going door to door in East End getting people to complete the survey because we want to ensure that everyone gets the chance to submit to government their thoughts on development.’

In Bodden Town, District Committee Chairman, Emile Levy says his committee plans to distribute informational flyers, hold workshops, place advertisements in the media, and hold a beach party for the people.

‘What the Bodden Town Committee wants to do is provide leadership, direction and education for the people and to coordinate economic development in our district,’ Mr. Levy said.

‘To do this we will work with the minister of Tourism and the Investment Bureau and the people of Bodden Town to make Go East a big success.’

North Side residents can expect to see the establishment of a learning centre in their district sometime in the New Year. North Side Committee Chairman Joey Ebanks said they also plan to conduct workshops for the district entrepreneurs.

‘We have 10 existing businesses that will experience growth from the Go East Tourism,’ he said. ‘We have 14 new small and medium size business opportunities and entrepreneurs identified so as to maintain our Village Tourism Experience.

‘These new business opportunities range from a small boutique hotel to fishing boat charters. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the Cayman Islands Development Bank and accessing capital through the CIDB. The small tourism business opportunities in North Side are intended for North Side residents.’

The committees have been operating closely with the Executive Director of the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau Dax Basdeo.

‘The district committees will eventually prepare a short report on the challenges facing businesses in their districts, and provide suggestions as to possible solutions,’ Mr. Basdeo said.

‘Recommendations will also be made for incentives to develop the types of businesses identified as needed in the Eastern Districts.’

FYI

Bodden Towners can reach their District Committee by calling Mr. Levy on 939-1832. North Side residents can call Mr. Ebanks on 916-1662, and East End residents can contact Mr. Conolly on 946-2084.

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