U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The Office of the Governor will host Royal Caribbean Group for the second session of the USVI Community Business Forum series that will focus on helping VI businesses adapt and innovate their services for the return of cruise ships under a COVID environment.
The USVI Community Business Forum II is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., on Wednesday March 24, 2021, and will be held virtually via Zoom and can be viewed Live on Facebook.com/GovernmentHouseUSVI. To register for the forum, visit www.vi.gov/cbf or for more information call 340-774-0001.
The CBF series is an initiative of the Office of the Governor, the V.I. Economic Development Authority and the V.I. Department of Tourism, in partnership with Royal Caribbean Group to provide business owners with the information they need to be ready for potential cruise ship calls in 2021.
Virgin Islands business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in starting a business are encouraged to attend and be a part of the conversation. The session includes a Question-and-Answer segment following the presentation.
“This month marks exactly one year since the first COVID case was confirmed in the Territory,” Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said. “Back then, we made the difficult and early decision to implement masking, social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines in response to the pandemic. It was hard on everyone, especially hard on our businesses.”
“But, one year later, we are in a much better place because of those decisions and with almost 30,000 COVID vaccines administered, we are well on our way to achieving herd immunity,” Governor Bryan said. “Now is the time for us to have the real conversation about rebuilding our business community in the new COVID normal.”
During Wednesday’s forum, Royal Caribbean Group will present the territory with a unique first look at their return to the USVI and discuss the type of services their passengers will need once docked at the Territory’s ports. Additionally, the V.I. Port Authority will unveil their Two-Port incentive program to bring more ship calls to the island of St. Croix, and the V.I. Department of Health will present their “Healthy Certification” program.
“Royal Caribbean Group is truly excited to return to the US Virgin Islands once we get clearance to sail. We are also happy to assist the business community in preparing for that return,” said Jayne Halcomb, Destination Development Director – Americas & Caribbean for Royal Caribbean Group.
Governor Bryan is encouraging all who attend to “listen carefully, ask questions and to share your thoughts.”
The first session was held in December 2020 and focused on overall economic and workforce development in the USVI. All of the materials presented in the first session are available at www.vi.gov/cbf.
The Bryan-Roach Administration is committed to transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring the disaster recovery is completed as quickly as possible.