BE THE CHANGE Chamber Committees 2010

Under the vision of the Chamber of Commerce Council the following action committees have been developed to encourage more involvement and input from community members on topics of importance and significance to our country and economy. We welcome anyone who would like to volunteer their time to any of the following:

The Chamber is a driving force behind the call for a National Crime Prevention Strategy and has representation on the Government’s CCTV Task Force, the Crime Prevention Group and CrimeStoppers. We work very closely with these community groups as well as produce the Economic Crime Survey and host the Annual Fraud Prevention Seminar. Governor Duncan Taylor made very clear his desire for community involvement when recently in a press interview he remarked, “We want people to feel they can come to any of us to give us ideas, thoughts and information, which we can use. National security is not simply a matter for the RCIPS; everyone in society has to contribute in some way, such as providing suggestions or policy ideas.” The Chamber hopes to assist as a conduit for our members in this endeavour.

President Stuart Bostock and CEO Wil Pineau attended a Future of Florida Forum in October. The forum brought together stakeholders from Government, Chambers of Commerce and businesses across the state to decide on some key strategies that everyone agreed to adopt for the state. The forum allowed the stakeholders to discuss the issues and to agree on solutions and priorities. A similar forum would be of great benefit to the Cayman Islands and the Chamber is the ideal organisation to bring the stakeholders together. We have already embarked on a State of Business Survey, which will form the basis of many of the discussion points.

Each year the Chamber organises activities for Earth Day including a roadside and beach clean-up. More than 1,500 persons volunteer to assist with these cleanups and several member businesses have expressed the view that there is a need for more coordination of all private sector environmental initiatives and activities. In 2007, the Chamber launched an Environmental Pledge for businesses and residents, but we would like to begin more follow-up activities to ensure that the pledges are not forgotten. The Chamber can help to coordinate the private sector discussion on this important topic by bringing together stakeholders from various industry sectors to recommend actions.

The Chamber is always trying to bring value and service to our members so we like to keep current with membership services and benefits that appeal to the majority. The Chamber’s Discount Card programme, Business Expo, Business After Hours, Business Connect, Chamber Pension Plan and Chamber website have served the organisation well, but there is a need to offer new services and benefits that will provide more value in trying economic times. It is popular for chambers across the world to offer health insurance schemes, property insurance benefits and affinity programmes to lower cost for services such as long distance calling etc. This committee will determine what services and benefits could be introduced to ensure that the membership is receiving the best value for money.

Attracting, training and retaining the right talent in the Cayman Islands are absolutely essential for Cayman’s continued and future development. The term limit policy, poor local educational standards, lack of coordinated training options, the increases in work permit fees and the lack of a comprehensive human capital development plan for the Cayman Islands has left many of our members disillusioned and uncertain about their ability to expand their businesses. There is a need to develop a long term strategy that will evaluate existing legislation and to determine what recommendations should be put forward to Government to ensure that the Cayman Islands has sufficient talent to allow our main industry sectors to continue to prosper.

Keeping the channels of communication open with Government and public servants allows the Chamber to fulfil our organisation’s main objectives of supporting, promoting and protecting the interests of the membership and the wider community. Good government relations can produce great results and allow the Chamber to help shape the public policy agenda and legislation that is not onerous for business and can serve to generate new business opportunities for members.

Students become future workers and business owners. When students enter the workforce ill prepared then the country’s productivity, competitiveness and prosperity declines. The link between the private sector and education is essential and there are many ways that the relationship can be improved so that the resources available in the private sector to improve education can be better coordinated and prioritised.

The Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 45th birthday this year. It is a significant achievement and it is an ideal time to showcase the organisation and its significant contributions to the Cayman Islands.