Ideas for boosting economic conditions on Cayman Brac

Dear Editor:

Upon seeing for myself the current economic distress in Cayman Brac, I feel compelled to call on the government to begin immediately, a program of sustainable economic development in Cayman Brac. At this time there are few private sector jobs for our young people after completing high school or tertiary education.

They are forced to relocate to Grand Cayman in search of employment.

Because of this, Cayman Brac has an aging and shrinking population with few encouraging prospects.

I have continued to help Cayman Brac throughout my life.

I have tried to provide everything from airline service to the construction and operating of two hotels.

At this time I am more concerned for the future of Cayman Brac than I have been at any time in my life.

Failure to act quickly will result in Cayman Brac getting to the point at which it will no longer have a viable population.

I am hereby suggesting the following in an effort to change the current situation:

Reduction of planning fees, especially those fees pertaining to clearing of beach property.

A complete review of the planning laws with a view to simplification, reducing restrictions, reducing fees and being made more builder friendly.

The total reinstatement of the duty concession that was in place for Cayman Brac from the mid 1990s, until it was allowed to partially expire on 30 June, 2011.

Upgrading of the airport to accommodate international departures.

After airport improvements, provide concessions to any airline providing service to Cayman Brac from non CAL destinations.

Enhancement of the Cayman Brac tourism product, with a greater part of DOT’s budget earmarked to promote the Brac.

Low license fee and exemption of work permit fee for the first 2 years for any business that relocates to Cayman Brac, with a total of 15 or more employees.

Change the purpose of the new hurricane shelter to that of a facility which can provide back-office support to various government departments in Grand Cayman. It could still function as an emergency shelter when needed.

Provide fee incentives to any financial service business, that is willing to be located in Cayman Brac.

Enhance the high school and UCCI facilities in Cayman Brac to better prepare our young people.

Encourage the building of a marina, and reduce duty for boats and yachts that are imported into, and home ported in Cayman Brac.

Offer special concessions for high-tech firms to locate in Cayman Brac.

Identify, preserve and enhance Cayman Brac’s natural features (i.e. caves, splits, ponds, etc.), while also ensuring access and information to residents and tourists.

Review the feasibility of allowing water sports inside of the reef of the south west coast of Cayman Brac.

Linton N. Tibbetts O.B.E.

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