Economic Empowerment Zones could be created in the East and West ends
New Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) could soon be introduced to the East and West ends of the Island.
Orders were tabled in the House of Assembly to create EEZs for both St George's and Somerset in an attempt to help businesses in the communities survive the current economic climate. The orders detail the proposed areas that would be included in the EEZs.
The proposed EEZ for Somerset would stretch from the Willowbank Resort to the start of Watford Bridge, including sites such as Daniel's Head, Cambridge Beaches, Somerset Cricket Club, Sandys 360 and a series of stores and businesses on Mangrove Road.
The East End SDO begins in the Mullet Bay area and continues to St George's Cricket Club. It includes the entire town of St George, along with Tobacco Bay, Fort St Catherine and St George's Cricket Club.
The EEZ in place in Northeast Hamilton has offered preferential rates for businesses and property owners and provided them with advice. EEZ Agency (EEZA) director Erica Smith said in November that not all policies used in Hamilton would be applicable elsewhere.
Cheryl Hayward-Chew, head of the East End division of the Chamber of Commerce, said yesterday that she welcomed the new EEZ designation.
“St George's has long been the testing ground for entrepreneurs,” she said. “Many businesses in St George's are now struggling with the changing dynamics and the lack of visitors.
“An EEZ designation for St George's will serve to support the present businesses with additional resources and assist and attract new entrepreneurs. The Chamber looks forward to working with the EEZA towards these goals.”