A year of challenges and choices

On behalf of the newly elected Council I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year and I look forward to receiving your support and increased involvement in the work of your Chamber. In my acceptance speech in late November, I stated that 2009 will not be business as usual. It will be a year filled with several challenges and choices as we face some difficult decisions that will impact the future of the Cayman Islands.
These may include casting a ballot during the May elections, confirming a new relationship with the United Kingdom, supporting the redevelopment of the port facility in George Town or getting more involved in the Chamber. Whatever the decision, the actions that result will help to shape the business climate and governance of our Islands.
As a collective body of businesses, individuals and industry associations, the Chamber works tirelessly to support, promote and protect the interests of its members and the wider community. Although, the Council and staff are charged with this awesome responsibility, we rely on your feedback and participation so that we are aware of your views, concerns and what is important to you.
With this in mind, the Council and I have approved the establishment of several committees to assist with the formulation of policy and public advocacy positions that we intend to communicate to the current and future Government leaders. These committees will address foreign direct investment, small business issues, community leadership, international trade, economic development, industry relations, the environment, and education. The Council of Associations and the Past Presidents Advisory Committee will also be reactivated.
In addition, a Building Committee will be established to develop a feasibility study for a permanent home for the Chamber that can also serve as a visitors, investors, convention and community centre.
We press ahead with these plans with the understanding that the upcoming year will be challenging for the membership as the global recession forces some businesses to downsize. This year, it is more important than ever that the members become involved in the work of the Chamber. In doing so we may better propose new strategies to attract investment and create a pro-business culture, which in turn will create jobs and a variety of opportunities.
This is our home, our Islands, our future! We must do everything within our power to make the Cayman Islands an extremely attractive place to live and invest by removing any barriers to success.
While facing the challenges and choices of 2009 your Chamber Council and I are committed to making a difference. Don’t sit on the sidelines! Get involved in the work of the Chamber and let your voice be heard so that together, we can shape a prosperous future.