North East Hamilton EEZ set to spread south
Entrepreneurs looking to set up businesses in South East Hamilton may soon be able to apply for a series of concessions and tax breaks.
The area is set to be granted economic empowerment zone status in line with neighbouring north-east quarter of the City.
In a statement in the House of Assembly yesterday, Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, said the area was ripe for investment.
Tabling a report supporting the proposal compiled by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Mr Hayward said: “As the gateway to the City, South East Hamilton plays an important role by providing key commuter routes into and out of Hamilton. It also plays a key role in Bermuda's economy as it hosts the container docks.
“However, the full economic and development potential of eastern Hamilton, both north and south, has not yet been fully realised compared to the central and western areas of the City. The designation as an EEZ provides access to economic development tools to help this area fully realise its potential.”
Mr Hayward said that the BEDC had conducted a survey of the area, including existing land use, business needs and an assessment of present infrastructure.
He added that survey respondents were in “strong agreement” that there should be more economic investment in the area to support existing small businesses and encourage other businesses to set up in the area.
He said: “The research also concluded that there is a need for increased investment opportunities in the area to benefit the efficacy of the EEZ.
“Pedestrian linkages to the North East Hamilton EEZ and vehicular access in and out of the City characterise the potential for the proposed South Hamilton EEZ to be a well-connected district in which to live, work and play.”
Mr Hayward listed benefits that businesses and property owners in EEZs can apply for. They include: payroll tax concessions, customs duty deferment, reduced land tax, reduced application fees on products, preferential interest rates on funding and approved residential schemes.
Mr Hayward concluded: “This government is serious about encouraging a viable, reputable business environment, as well as the development and economic regeneration within the City, both north and south.
“To this end, the Ministry of Economy and Labour will continue to make economic empowerment an imperative by creating sound, progressive policies that support investment, regeneration and growth.
“The creation of the South East Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone is a tangible example of this commitment.”