Launch of USVI Business Hub

Entrepreneurs and small-business owners in the U.S. Virgin Islands – and from around the world – can now access a rich variety of helpful USVI resources housed in an all-in-one online platform. The U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA), the lead economic development organization in the USVI, announced the launch of the “USVI Business Hub.”

This platform project and four-day launch is in partnership with the company Startup Space and USVIEDA economic development partners. These partners, including the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (VIDLCA), the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC), the University of the Virgin Islands Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning (UVI CELL) and Startup Space, invited the USVI business community to attend the virtual launch events that took place this week and were shared prior to the events.

According to USVIEDA CEO Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., “The USVIEDA team and I are extremely excited about the development and launch of USVI Business Hub for our business community. This hub will be a tremendous platform that will assist business owners in not only gaining quick access to resources, but in opening the door for numerous networking opportunities. I’d like to thank the USVIEDA team, especially the Marketing Dept., for working closely with Startup Space and our economic development partners to make the USVI Business Hub a reality.”

USVI Business Hub, powered by Startup Space, is created for users to easily find a free, interactive platform of support services, mentors, online peer networks, calendar of events and much more that are based in the USVI. This launch event afforded entrepreneurs, small-business owners and public-private sector stakeholders a dynamic opportunity to get a hands-on experience with this app, ask questions, and communicate one-on-one with stakeholder leaders and the Startup Space Team.

“Working alongside the USVIEDA team has proven to be a successful collaboration for the outcome of the USVI Business Hub. Both the USVIEDA, its partners and the Startup Space team share in the same belief that an entrepreneurship ecosystem is necessary for a business community’s growth, strength and the ability to thrive,” said David Ponraj, founder and CEO, Startup Space.   “My team and I look forward to continuing to work with the USVIEDA to ensure the success of this hub for a spectrum of businesses,” added Mr. Ponraj.

Young Grads of USVI Entrepreneurial Program Return for More Business, Life Lessons

Dreams of entrepreneurship resonated within the minds of young men this summer as the Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC), in partnership with the Office of the Territorial Public Defender of the U.S. Virgin Islands and USVI non-profit organization Youth Arise, Inc., hosted EntrepreNow in the USVI. EntrepreNow was held virtually this year, in partnership with OmniSystems, LLC, from August 17 to 21, 2020 due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Now in its fourth year, the entrepreneurial-focused summer program for young men ages 15-18, was designed this year to reconnect with the program’s graduates, also known as the ‘Gentlemen of EntrepreNow’, offering them more opportunities to develop their skills in business, professional development and personal branding.

According to EZC Managing Director, Nadine T. Marchena Kean, “This year, we took the opportunity to follow up with the EntrepreNow graduates, and five young men stepped forward with high anticipation to engage in a successful and inspiring five-day line-up of activities. We sincerely thank the team at OmniSystems that worked tirelessly to put this year’s program together. As a quiet corporate citizen, OmniSystems has made a strong commitment to working with these Gentlemen beyond this year’s program. As they join with other business leaders that continue to step forward to assist the youth of the Virgin Islands, I say, ‘Thank you!”

Among the many EntrepreNow presenters who volunteered from the USVI community – and the diaspora abroad – were Samuel Joseph, Esq., chief public defender from the V.I. Office of the Territorial Public Defender; and Shane Benjamin, an EntrepreNow mentor and director of the VI Taxicab Commission, who spoke about the impact of gun violence in our communities.

In an engaging question and answer format, Col. (Retired) Michael B. Black, former White House Communications Agency Chief Commander under the Obama/Biden Administration, responded to questions about his personal and professional experiences. Mr. Black also spoke about his life lessons and the importance of having a coach, mentor, sponsor and a vision for one’s life. Former USVI Lt. Governor Osbert Potter, now senior director/general manager of OmniSysterms Caribbean & Latin American Operations, also provided the young men his insights and advice.

Entrepreneur Angel Livas, CEO of DC Media Connection, talked about how one can monetize their passion through social media and the Internet. Chef Taj Siwatu, EntrepreNow mentor and founder/owner of Budda Sushi on St. Thomas, explained how one can pivot a business during challenging times and transform a negative situation into a positive one. Angela Dingle, president and chief executive officer of Ex Nihilo, discussed the importance of having self-confidence as a small-business owner while seeking business opportunities with the federal government and being a charismatic leader. This year’s program also included an open discussion about the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Arlene Smith Christopher of Youth Arise, Inc., explained what COVID-19 is and how it is contracted. Dr. Christopher also demonstrated methods for practicing good hand-hygiene and described other best preventive measures that can help individuals avoid contracting the coronavirus.

The Gentlemen of EntrepreNow also heard stories from Ian Tomilson, president of OmniSystems LLC; and David Ponjab, founder of Startup Space, about the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur. After the presentations, Mrs. Marchena Kean discussed next steps and encouraged the young men to continue their relationships with their mentors – and each other – while remembering to utilize the network they established and the resources available to them whenever they face challenges.  This year, the Gentlemen of EntrepreNow also had one item on their wish list, the desire to meet NBA star Tim Duncan.

To fulfill their desire, Mrs. Marchena Kean reached out to EntrepreNow mentor, Rashidi Clenance of ViVid Streaming, who arranged for the St. Croix native, philanthropist, and assistant coach/former NBA basketball star of the San Antonio Spurs, to virtually meet the young men during the finale of the 2020 EntrepreNow program. Mr. Duncan answered their questions and shared inspiring words of encouragement and advice.

At the end of the summer program, each of the Gentlemen of EntrepreNow selected one of the week’s topics to deliver a presentation on what they would say to a younger person based on the lessons they learned that week on the topic.

Established in July 2016, EntrepreNow, the brainchild of the EZC, was created in partnership with the Office of the Territorial Public Defender of the USVI; the USVI Department of Human Services; and Youth Arise, Inc. The EZC is an entity of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority that is responsible for the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods that were once vibrant centers of economic activity in the Territory.

For more information, contact Nadine T. Marchena Kean, EZC managing director, at 340-714-1700, ext. no. 1811; or send an email to info@usvieda.org.

Two UVI Students Awarded USVIHTA Lorette Resch Scholarship

USVIHTA Education and Training Committee Chairman Samuel Rey (center) presents scholarship awards to recipients J’Mari Clarke (left center) and Omaira Rachid (right center) along with their family members.

University of the Virgin Islands sophomores Omaira Rachid and J’Mari Clarke were awarded $5,000 in scholarships on Oct. 2 from the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association Education and Training Committee. Both students received $2,500 toward furthering their education.

“It is vital during these uncertain times that we uphold our mission to support continuing education and training,” said USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton. “Every one of us has felt the repercussions of the current economic climate and health crisis, and we must ensure that our future industry leaders have the resources they need to succeed.”

Rachid is a second time recipient of the Lorette Resch Scholarship and is continuing her studies in hospitality and tourism management. Clarke is a first time recipient of the scholarship and is majoring in business administration and management.

“This scholarship has given me the opportunity to shape my future. I am granted the opportunity to learn more about my passion that is in this industry, and for that, I am grateful. I am hereby privileged to have been honored such reward, and it is even more of a privilege to be able to showcase my knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry,” said Rachid.

“By awarding me the Lorette Resch Scholarship, [the association] has lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on the essential aspect of school – learning! This scholarship will help me achieve my educational goal and career goals. [The association’s] generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to my community,” said Clarke.

The Lorette Resch Scholarship has continued to thrive despite numerous obstacles throughout the territory over the last three years, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the ongoing pandemic. The association, its board of directors and members recognize the need for a strong emphasis on supporting education and growth in the tourism and hospitality industry.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must meet the requirements for admission into the hospitality/restaurant management program or business administration program at UVI or other USVIHTA approved hospitality schools. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands for at least five years. Applicants must also submit documentation from their high school, including transcripts and recommendations, as well as an essay.

Funds for the Lorette Resch Scholarship are raised annually during the USVIHTA Holiday Party as well as through additional contributions. The USVIHTA Education and Training Fund was established over two decades ago to aid youth who are seeking higher education with a concentration in hospitality. In 2014, the scholarship was posthumously named in honor of Lorette Resch, honorary member on the USVIHTA Board of Directors and scholarship contributor.

USVI Small Business Resources October

 

www.visbdc.org

VI BizBuzz

Visit us on Facebook for updates.

The VI SBDC wants to let our community know that we are available to assist local businesses in the Virgin Islands.
St. Thomas/St. John call 340-693-1694
St. Croix call 340-692-4294
email us: info@visbdc.org
Upcoming Webinars
SBA Federal Financial Assistance
USVI COVID-19 Assistance
St. Croix/St. Thomas/St. John
All VI SBDC In-Person events have been postponed until further notice. Please follow us on Facebook for updates on future events.
VI SBDC Partners

USVIEDA Board Appoints Wayne L. Biggs, Jr. as New CEO of the V.I. Economic Development Authority

The Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority announces the appointment of Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA). As CEO of this semi-autonomous government instrumentality in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mr. Biggs will be responsible for leading the USVIEDA team in aiding the V.I. Government in growing the USVI economy through the creation of opportunities for business investment and job creation.

Mr. Biggs will also lead in the implementation of policies by the USVIEDA Governing Board; statutory mandates; and USVIEDA initiatives, including – but not limited to – Vision 2040, the strategic vision and blueprint for economic development in the Territory. Mr. Biggs, who recently served as Interim CEO of the USVIEDA for the past three months, begins his official role as CEO effective immediately.

“It is a pleasure to have Mr. Biggs on board as the next CEO of the USVIEDA. With his extensive background in business and economic development, Mr. Biggs also has an unwavering passion for seeking economic growth opportunities for the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Kevin Rodriquez, USVIEDA Board Chairman. “I am confident that under Mr. Biggs’ leadership – and with the support of the USVIEDA Board and team – the USVIEDA will continue to seek the best investment opportunities that can help drive economic growth for the USVI during this time,” added Chairman Rodriquez.

Prior to his role as Interim CEO, Mr. Biggs – born and reared on St. Croix, USVI – amassed experience in business and economic development in his career working in these areas spanning over a 30-year period.

For over 20 years, he worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in many positions of business and economic development, and on special assignments to lead SBA disaster teams dispatched to provide assistance to severely damaged areas throughout the nation and the Territories.

When the U.S. SBA reorganized nationally, Mr. Biggs joined the USVIEDA in March 2005 to serve as its Director of Lending. Under the USVIEDA, he was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Government Development Bank of the Virgin Islands (GDB) and the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Agency (SBDA). During this tenure at USVIEDA, Mr. Biggs also assisted with the implementation and management of the Enterprise Zone Commission Program (EZC) while serving in a dual role as the USVIEDA’s Director of Enterprise Zone and the Director of Lending from 2005 through 2007.

In addition to bringing a wealth of knowledge in economic development to the CEO position, Mr. Biggs gained operational and technical experience during his tenure as Assistant CEO and Chief Operating Officer of the USVIEDA which will complement his new leadership role to enhance the comprehensive and efficient operations of the USVIEDA.

I am truly honored and humbled to be appointed as CEO of the USVIEDA,” said Mr. Biggs. “Having served at the Authority in numerous capacities alongside a tremendously talented and diligent team, it is certainly a privilege to take the helm of this organization. My team and I look forward to continuing to work with our economic development partners and the USVIEDA Board to serve the USVI community, especially during this unprecedented time in our history,” added Mr. Biggs.

Mr. Biggs also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Operation Management/Information Systems from Bradley University, Peoria, IL; and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, USVI. He also has several certifications in business development and economic development-related fields.

About the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority:

The Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) is a semi-autonomous governmental instrumentality. It promotes economic growth, job creation, and wealth generation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVIEDA assumes, integrates and unifies the functions of these four entities: Economic Development Commission, Virgin Islands Economic Development Park Corporation, Economic Development Bank and the Enterprise Zone Commission. The USVIEDA accomplishes its mission by attracting investors to the Territory to establish or relocate their business in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It also provides financial assistance for new and existing small to medium-sized businesses in the Territory and assists V.I. residents and business owners with rehabilitating their properties located in distressed areas that were once vibrant economic centers of activity in the Territory. Learn more about the USVIEDA at www.usvieda.org or send an email to info@usvieda.org.

# # #

Media Contact:

Semele A.C. George

Marketing and PR Specialist

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Tel. No.: 340-714-1700

Paradise is Open! Book Your GETAWAY with The Hills Saint John!

STAY

EXPERIENCE

CONNECT

Seagrape Villa 3 beds | 3.5 baths We were very impressed with the beautiful unit! It was perfect for our family of five. The amenities and decor were impressive!. – Villa Guest VIEW DETAILS by clicking the image. From $625
Mahogany Villa
3 beds | 3.5 baths
Perfect villa for 7 people. We stayed at the Sorrento villa for 7 nights in March 2016. Absolutely beautiful, lots of privacy, spacious and clean- Villa Guest
VIEW DETAILS by clicking the image.
From $625

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Royal Palm Villa
4 beds | 4.5 baths
he place has amazing views, especially at sunset, looking out into the Caribbean with islands scattered across the water.. – Villa Guest
VIEW DETAILS by clicking the image.
From $725
Poinciana Villa 2 beds | 2.5 baths This place was great! Plenty of space, gorgeous views, everything you need. It’s only a short drive from the downtown area.- Villa Guest VIEW DETAILS by clicking the image. From $475

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO PASSPORT REQUIRED

Plan your Virgin Islands getaway without the worry or expsense of a passprort. That’s right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ISLAND
The Beverly Hills of the Caribbean. Click the image to read more.
GETTING HERE
St. John Travel Tips. No Passport Necessary. Click the image to read more.
EXPERIENCE
Spacious Rooms and Resort-like Amenities. Click the image to read more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON THE MARKET
Villa Frangipani
Villa Frangipani is fully furnished and provides ample amounts of space for families and friends to stay with plenty of privacy. This 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom unit was designed for island comfort and is completely functional.
Listed at $2,100,000
Email inquires@vacationvi.com with questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The Virgin Islands is one of only a few Caribbean destinations that US travelers can currently visit.

Visit https://thehillsstjohn.com/contact-us/ for more information on The Hills Saint John.

CHTA Virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Biennium Election for 2020-2022 Officers

The CHTA AGM is scheduled for Friday, October 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET. It will be held virtually allowing for all CHTA members to attend.

Agenda items for the meeting will include:

  • Overview of CHTA’s Focus During the Past Year by the President and CEO/Director General
  • Update and Open Discussion on Current Initiatives Being Undertaken
  • Election of President, Vice Presidents 1-5, and Treasurer
  • Other Business

Should you be unable to attend the meeting, we encourage you to attend via Proxy, which would allow another active member to attend and vote on your behalf. Please click here for the proxy form. If you need assistance in determining who might be eligible to represent you via proxy should you not be able to attend, please contact CHTA at information@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

In accordance with the Bylaws for the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, President Patricia Affonso-Dass convened a Nominating Committee on July 10, 2020 for the purpose of recommending a slate of Officers for the 2020-2022 biennium. A Call for Nominations was sent to the Executives and Presidents of the National Hotel and Tourism Associations and the Board of Directors on July 21,2020. Shortly thereafter, members were also notified of the Call for Nominations and the election process for filling positions at the Annual General Meeting on October 16, 2020 for: President, Treasurer and five Vice President positions.

Following a review of nominations received, the Nominating Committee presented a report with recommendations to the Executive Committee which has approved the recommended slate now being presented to the Board of Directors and entire membership as follows:

JURISDICTION / NOMINEE / POSITION

Puerto Rico – Pablo Torres, Caribe Hilton – President

Jamaica – Nicola Madden-Greig, Courtleigh Group – 1st Vice President

Dominica – Gregor Nassief, Secret Bay – 2nd Vice President

St. Lucia – Sanovnik Destang, Bay Gardens Resorts – 3rd Vice President

Grenada – Leo Garbutt, Calabash Resort – 4th Vice President

At-Large* – Bill Clegg, Best Western/World Hotels – 5th Vice President

Aruba* – Jim Hepple, Tourism Analytics – Treasurer

*Note: Allied members are permitted to be nominated and elected to the 5th Vice President and Treasurer positions.

Please be advised that this does not preclude additional nominations from being presented for consideration at the AGM by five (5) or more Active Members, acting jointly.

Also, be reminded that the President will appoint regional Vice Presidents and committee chairs, ensuring additional engagement, expertise and balance on the Executive Committee, and Committee Chairs will also serve on the Executive Committee.

Further details for connecting to the Annual General Meeting will be circulated.

If attending via proxy, please submit the proxy form to information@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com by Thursday, October 15th at 3:00pm ET.

Should you have any questions about the election and the upcoming AGM, please contact Frank Comito at frank@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

Communications Director Reminds VI Families about P-EBT Program, Asks for Community’s Patience as School Year Begins

Communications Director Reminds VI Families about P-EBT Program,

Asks for Community’s Patience as School Year Begins with Soft Opening

 

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – During the Government House weekly press briefing, Richard Motta Jr., Director of Communications for the Office of the Governor, reminded the community that the Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) program continues to issue cards to eligible students and asked for the public’s patience as the Department of Education begins the 2020-2021 school year with a two-week soft-opening period.

“Today is the first day of school for the territory’s public-school students and I want to wish all our students, teachers, faculty and staff a warm welcome back,” Mr. Motta said. “Parents and guardians, teachers and other support staff:  This week and this soft-opening-period will not be without its share of challenges. I beg your indulgence on behalf of the governor and the Department of Education, as we all navigate this unchartered territory, and ask for your continued cooperation toward our shared goal of ensuring our students have a safe and successful start to the 2020-2021 school year. “

Mr. Motta also announced that the Department of Human Services continues to issue P-EBT cards to families of students who are eligible. The Federal funding under the P-EBT program is tied to the Department of Education’s school lunch program which is why the federal government has structured the benefits in a way which issues those benefits to the individual students as opposed to the head of household as done under the SNAP program.

“By now most of you have received your P-EBT benefits in the mail,” Mr. Motta said.

Anyone with questions or concerns, including lost or damaged cards, or difficulty creating a pin, should call the P-EBT hotline at 340-772-7120 or send an email to pebt@dhs.vi.gov with P-EBT in the subject line, he said.

PUI Update

Currently tracking have 58 active cases

18,354 individuals tested to date

17,120 of those tests came back negative

1221 came back positive

1,144 individuals have recovered.

19 fatalities to date.

The 19th fatality was an 82-year-old male on St. Thomas, who passed away shortly after being admitted to the Schneider Regional Medical Center in respiratory distress.

There are no COVID-Positive patients at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and just one COVID-positive patient at the Schneider Regional Medical Center.

Unemployment

To date, the Virgin Islands Department of Labor (VIDOL) has issued 36,291 unemployment insurance checks totaling $27,772,302 million dollars to VI residents impacted by COVID-19 related job-losses.

The department has also issued an additional 26,814 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments totaling $40,814,880 dollars.

VIDOL has issued $2,446,101 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $1,000,005 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.

In total, the Bryan-Roach Administration has issued 64,463 unemployment benefit payments to Virgin Islands residents totaling $72,033,288. Up $2 million since last week.

 

 

####

VIPCA September 2020 Third Quarterly

VIPCA September 2020 Third Quarterly

 

IN THIS ISSUE by Executive Director, Oriel Blake
Yacht Show 2020 Special &

Territorial Updates Pertaining to COVID-19

 

New: 2020 Yacht Show Features Online Element! 

 

The show will go on! Show organizers know that nothing beats a physical yacht show to showcase any vessel and crew combination to charter brokers, which is why VIPCA is hosting the 4-day event at Yacht Haven Grande November 12-15 this year with rigorous COVID-19 safety protocols and a digital element for those brokers who decide to stay home. The digital element could never replace attending the event in person and at this time the USVI is on track to reopen to tourism with the go-ahead for term-yacht charters from September 19th with day charters recommencing operation September 8th. It is also unlikely that a Government shutdown will reoccur in the Territory in November owing to such a successful hurricane season lockdown and reduction of local cases of the Coronavirus.

 

NEW FOR 2020: Exhibiting yachts in the marina shall be filmed with yacht tours and crew interviews for the benefit of brokers who cannot attend and must view online. VIPCA has arranged for the service of a professional film crew for all yacht show registered yachts present in Yacht Haven Grande marina during the yacht show Nov 12-15th. VIPCA broker members will be able to log-on to the show online upon payment of $50 for individual password access.

 

Continue reading for: September 8th “Safer at Home” Press Release

Continue reading for: the COVID-19 Show Safety Protocols

Register for: the Online Element to the 2020 Yacht Show

 

 

INFORMATION FOR ATTENDING CHARTER BROKERS

 

1.  As a physically attending charter broker, the show will continue as per usual with yacht viewings in the marina daily 8.30am – 5.30pm. This year all evening events will be hosted onboard yachts with a limit of four charter brokers per yacht at any time. Live streamed industry updates and hosted seminars will be viewable on the yachts television screens “live” during each evening. Evening catering will be provided for all show participants by Moe’s Fresh Market in individual pre-packaged, compostable containers. See schedule online.

2.  You may login to the online elements of the show with free access at any time. Your password will be given upon registration at the marina.

 

 

INFO FOR NON-ATTENDING CHARTER BROKERS

 

1.  You may still attend! Register online as per usual, selecting the drop-down box for “virtual attendance.” Then pay for online registration.

2.  VIPCA broker members can pay for the password to access online yacht tours, crew interviews and industry update seminars for $50 per broker. The content will be uploaded during the course of the yacht show with live elements Nov 12-15th.

3.  Password access will be provided to each yacht’s 360 degree photographic tours (where available), and will be downloadable and shareable with your charter clients for marketing.

4.  If the show goes entirely virtual then all member brokers* will be invited to attend the yacht show online for $50 per individual registration. Non members can join VIPCA first, and then pay $50 per broker for online access to the yacht show. *Memberships cover all employees of any member brokerage.

 

 

INFORMATION FOR EXHIBITING YACHTS:

 

1.  Active VIPCA vessel members can pay now for show registration. The “early bird rate” of $400 per yacht shall apply until October 1st. Invoices will be emailed.

2.  Make your berthing arrangements and payment directly with the marina office in . Berthing will be $1.50 per foot per day November 4 through November 22. An additional 10 percent early-bird discount shall be applied to dockage paid in full before September 11.

3.  Captains and Crew register in person on 9am – 6pm Nov 11th at the VIPCA yacht show registration tent in Yacht Haven Grande.

4.  Physical yacht viewings by brokers daily 8.30am – 5.30pm in addition to optional lunch and evenings hosting brokers onboard following the COVID-19 safety protocols with no more than 4 brokers onboard at any time. Evening catering will be provided for all show participants by Moe’s Fresh Market in individual pre-packaged, compostable containers. See schedule online.

5.  The professional photography crew will film for 30 minutes to be produced into approximately a 10 minute clip of yacht tour and a 10 minute clip of crew interview at a scheduled time during the show. You will be provided the format and interview questions in advance, along with its allocated time.

6.  Waypoint Branding is offering discounted rates for a full 360 degree photographic tour prior to and after the yacht show. The recording would take 1.5hrs and must be arranged directly with Ted Norris, owner of Waypoint Branding / Pamlico Group.

7.  In the event that the yacht show needs to be converted from a physical event to a virtual show all yachts will still be invited to arrive in the marina at Yacht Haven Grande at “show berthing rates” for the same dates, and will be allotted a one-hour slot on Nov 12-14th for your yacht tour and crew interview (as per above point 3). We encourage booking a 360 degree photographic yacht tour with Waypoint branding (as per above point 4). These recorded yacht tours and crew interviews will comprise the backbone of the online yacht show and be valuable marketing material for the season ahead.

 

 

360 YACHT TOURS OFFERED AT EXTREME DISCOUNT!

 

VIPCA has negotiated extremely reduced rates for any exhibiting yacht interested in having a professional 360 degree photography tour shot pre or post show for marketing use. See below rates and contact Ted Norris <tnorris@pamlicogroup.com> to book:

 

·    $350 for yachts / catamarans 60 feet and smaller

·    $450 for yachts / catamarans 61 feet – 80 feet

·    $550 for yachts / catamarans 81 – 100 feet

·    Quote for yachts over 100 feet

 

 

YACHT SHOW COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS

vipca.org/covid-19-safety-protocols/

 

In this climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the USVI Charter Yacht Show, the Virgin Island Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), are taking the matter of protecting its show attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and staff very seriously. In preparation for the November 12-15th 2020 show, VIPCA has developed a revised schedule of events and protocols for a safe, hygienic, productive, and high-quality organized event. VIPCA carefully developed the following protocols to provide charter brokers and yacht crew with the necessary assurance that they will be able to safely connect with one another at this year’s show.

 

1.  COVID-19 Testing: All charter brokers, yacht crew and their managers, VIPCA staff, plus any individual that will be onboard any of the yachts during the show, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result, or positive antibody test, received within 5 days of their initial arrival to St. Thomas*. Should any participants fail to produce a negative Covid-19 test at registration, then they must schedule an appointment 72 hours in advance through the Yacht Haven Grande Marina Office (340) 774-9500 before show admittance will be granted. Additionally all vessels must complete the marina’s questionnaire form prior to arrival to confirm passenger health status and previously visited locations that may be on the Federal and/or local government’s watch-list. The only exceptions to the requirement to provide a negative COVID-19 test would be that the participant has just come out of quarantine (e.g., having delivered their yacht directly to Yacht Haven Grande from a 14 day passage subject to applicable and current policies in effect by both Yacht Haven Grande and local government as it relates to travel restrictions and testing requirements).

2.  Thermal Screening: VIPCA staff members will be located at the marina dock gates and will be conducting daily forehead temperature scans of all participants prior to entry. Participants are asked not to attend if they are feeling unwell and temperatures must be below CDC recommendation of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or participants will be denied admittance.Exhibitors whom remain within the marina shall also have their temperature taken daily onboard their yacht.

3.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Participants including charter brokers, yacht crew and their managers, vendors, plus marina and VIPCA staff are required to wear a face mask at all times except for when eating or drinking. Further items of PPE such as gloves and eye shields are optional and may be used in line with local government and health authority advice.

4.  Cleaning & Hygiene: All yachts, event spaces and marina facilities shall follow the guidelines provided by the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Cleaning Institution, and the World Health Organization. This includes complete overnight disinfection and continuous sanitation by 60%+ alcohol. Ashore event spaces’ (including the business Wi-Fi lounge and restrooms) cleaning shall be subcontracted to a 3rd party cleaning service. Yacht crew are requested to use 60%+ alcohol to wipehigh-touch areas such as handrails, door handles, restrooms, and food and beverage areas hourly throughout the course of the Yacht Show.

5.  Personal hygiene: Entrances to the marina, event spaces, marina facilities and embarkation gangways on yachts will have hand sanitizing stations. There will be additional hand washing facilities provided onboard yachts (upon the crews’ consent) with a restroom provided by obliging exhibiting yachts allocated to charter broker use, encouraging all participants to regularly wash and disinfect their hands and to reduce use of public restrooms ashore.

6.  Registration physical distancing: Yacht Show registration for attendees and yacht crew will be held outdoors under a tented area with three separated registration tables reached by three separated lines, each line to have six foot distances marked for social distancing. Registration documents, such as dock maps, show information, etc. shall be provided in clear plastic sleeves so that they may be easily sanitized with wipes. Yacht Crew registration shall be open 8am – 6pm on November 10th and Charter Yacht Broker Registration shall be open 8am – 8pm on November 11th and 8am – 3pm on the 12th, 13th and 14th.

7.  General physical distancing: Participants are requested to maintain proper distance and to use alternative ways to greet each other and to avoid physical contact such as handshakes and embraces. Digital alternatives to printed materials such as business cards and sales brochures are strongly recommended. Four (4) charter brokers are permitted to be onboard any yacht at any time, in addition to its yacht crew. This includes the “Progressive Dinner” event. Shoes should be left at the gangway, with yacht crew shoes carried inside so that four (4) pairs of shoes as a maximum are ever visible when boarding any yacht. Ashore event spaces and facilities shall have a one-way traffic system, onsite signage and floor markings, and onsite social distance ambassadors.

8.  Food and beverage stations: Food shall be pre-packaged in compostable take-out containers and served with compostable knives and forks. Packaging of the food containers shall take place in the commercial kitchen of our exclusive caterer, Moe’s Fresh Market. If any queuing is anticipated, food shall be distributed from multiple stations reached by lines with six foot distance floor markings with the assistance of onsite social distance ambassadors who shall discourage crowds from gathering.

9.  Evening and lunch events: No events shall occur as a gathering ashore. Instead, there shall be broker lunches and dinners hosted onboard exhibiting yachts with a maximum of four (4) brokers per vessel. Lunches and Evenings shall be as follows and will always be inclusive of all Brokers in attendance:

10.  Crew competitions: Judges of the Culinary and Cocktail Competitions shall have provided a COVID-19 negative test within five days prior to their judging, and these competitions shall proceed as usual.

 

Please Note: Show protocols and its schedule are being adapted as the COVID 19 situation evolves in accordance with official government and local authority guidance. All events shall comply with current local ordinances as it relates to COVID-19 measures including any imposed curfews, alcohol restrictions, crowd gathering sizes, etc.

 

 

U.S. Virgin Islands Government Updates

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 8, 2020

Governor Bryan Moves Territory to “Safer at Home” Status

 

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – During his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. allowed a number of restrictions under the “Stay at Home” order to expire, effectively moving the Territory up to “Safer at Home” status, meaning that nonessential businesses are allowed to reopen (September 8th).

 

Governor Bryan also said the Territory is scheduled to resume leisure travel on September 19, which means that hotels, Airbnbs, villas and other tourist accommodations may begin taking reservations again.

 

(NOTE BY VIPCA: Day charter yachts can recommence operation from September 8th with residents and term charter yachts can recommence operation with tourists September 19th.)

 

During this current phase, visitation to nursing homes and senior assisted living facilities remains prohibited, bars are to remain closed and beaches are to close at 4 p.m. on weekends.

 

“We understand that COVID doesn’t know what time it is, but our decision to close the beaches at 4 p.m. is to discourage the partying and gatherings that traditionally occur on our beaches in the late afternoon hours,” Governor Bryan said. “The restriction on gatherings greater than 50 persons and the requirements of facial coverings and social distancing remain in effect.”

 

During the “Safer at Home” phase, restaurants will be allowed to resume dine-in operations under the following conditions:

·    No serving of alcohol at bar counters

·    No more than six persons per table

·    Tables must be 6 feet apart

·    Employees must wear facial coverings at all times

·    Patrons should wear facial coverings whenever they are not seated at a table

 

All visitors and residents must provide proof of a negative PCR test to enter the Territory or must go into 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

 

The Governor also said that he expects testing at the Territory’s airports to begin by the end of the month. He also said that the situation remains fluid and restrictions could change at any time.

 

“We are moving toward this new phase because our locally owned small businesses can not sustain a continued indefinite closure,” Governor Bryan said. “I have to remind the public that since I last addressed you that we have lost four more Virgin Islanders to this virus. It remains deadly and it remains serious.

 

####

 

Read the full press release at this link

Read the latest published Executive Orders at this link

 

VIPCA | 6100 Red Hook QTRS STE E-21, St. Thomas, VI 00802-1344

| 340-642-0656 | info@VIPCA.org| www.VIPCA.org