AuthorThe Anguillian Newspaper
Members on both sides of the Anguilla House of Assembly have given their full support and commendation to three Anguillian young men who are contributing considerably to the business life and progress of the island through their private sector enterprises.
The parliamentarians were particularly delighted to grant them duty free concessions for the expansion of their separate businesses, taking into account their level of service to their homeland and that, over the years, many exemptions were awarded to outside investors doing business on the island.
The Anguillians benefitting from the concessions are Mr. Duquaine Brooks and Mr. Derrick Richardson, who are both involved in the fitness and health business; and Mr. Kyle Hodge of Tropical Treats whose involvement is in the manufacturing business.
The tone for the duty-free concessions was set by Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr. Victor Banks, who piloted the three Motions through the House.
“I am pleased that we have three Motions today associated with young people who are involved in carrying on businesses here in Anguilla,” he said. “We have a new group of entrepreneurs who are willing to take the financial risks to deliver services to the people of Anguilla which will help us to another aspect of our development. I am very privileged to have the opportunity to commit the Government [to these undertakings] and I am certain that the Opposition as well will support this cadre of young people in their efforts.”
The Chief Minister continued: “The first Motion, Mr. Speaker, is for an application from Mr. Derrick Richardson for a project called ‘Xtreme Fitness Club’. It is an arts and fitness facility that is responding to the critical needs of that sector…There is another application from Mr. Duquaine Brooks of ‘Results Driven Fitness Centre’. Both of them have a community component where they provide fitness support for a number of young people, groups and other organisations free of cost. This enables them to maintain a level of fitness and good health that is associated with a healthy nation.
“The other application is from Mr. Kyle Hodge of ‘Tropical Treats’, a manufacturing project. I regret that we have not been able to finalise the issues for a policy on manufacturing in detail. But we will continue to give Mr. Hodge our support until that is done.” Mr. Banks explained that the project had been presented to Government over the past year, but the delay was due to the requirement of taking into consideration other manufacturing projects in Anguilla – and for Government to come up with a policy to cover all such projects on the island.
Opposition Leader, Ms. Palmavon Webster, was happy to stand in support of the three Anguillian entrepreneurs and other young people establishing businesses on the island. She thought that this was particularly commendable given “the economic meltdown Anguilla is experiencing.” While acknowledging the long-established GETSET Programme, through which the Department of Youth and Culture assists young people with small development projects, she urged the Government to introduced a published policy whereby many other persons could obtain assistance from Government.
Chief Minister Banks thought that was a good idea but pointed out that such persons must have a willingness to deliver their dreams and aspirations and seek available credible and official information about how they could be assisted. In inviting interested persons to obtain the necessary information, he said: “I applaud those ambitious persons who came to Government for help. That is the kind of initiative and assertive behavior that leads to success.”