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Chamber welcomes drive to attract tech companies

A Bermuda Government initiative designed to attract technology companies to the island is “welcome news”, the chief executive officer of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce said.

Kendaree Burgess noted that the Chamber, along with executive MBA students at Cornell University in the United States and Queen’s University in Canada, produced a study in 2017 about Bermuda’s economic options that identified it as a potential “Innovation Island”.

She said: “Now, with the Covid-19 crisis, we are even better positioned to take advantage of this.”

Ms Burgess added: “Any process, plans or opportunities to bring more activity to Hamilton or to the other hub – St George – whether it is residential or commercial would be of interest to our membership.

“Cities thrive when they are filled with people who use the goods and services produced. One of the unintended consequences of Covid-19 is the impact work-from-home is having on the City.

“There are fewer people in Hamilton on a regular basis – few people using the goods and services.”

Ms Burgess was speaking after David Burt, the Premier, said Government “will reform laws and policies to assist to develop an ecosystem and infrastructure that allows technology companies to base their operations in Bermuda”.

Mr Burt added: “These new residents will enable the evolution of a tech community in Bermuda to compliment the legacy industries that have provided the mainstay of the Island’s employment and revenue for decades.

“Having been incorporated in 1795, Hamilton has attracted legal, retail, dining, and banking entities, but has found it difficult to accommodate innovative business ideas or even until relatively recently, residents.

“Accordingly, given our pursuit of technology-focused companies unused and underused sites in the City of Hamilton will be permitted to develop co-working spaces in which local and global entrepreneurs can live, work, and relax together while building our future.”

Ms Burgess said combining the evolution of a tech community on-island with training opportunities “is a win-win for Bermuda and Bermudians”.

The Chamber boss added: “Putting vacant or underutilised spaces to work makes good sense. I am sure city landlords would be interested in hearing more about this plan.”

Kendaree Burgess: executive director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce (File photograph)

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Published November 26, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated November 24, 2020 at 6:29 pm)

Chamber welcomes drive to attract tech companies

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