Minister Announces EEZ Expansion Plans

November 1, 2012

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Patrice Minors, today [Nov 1] revealed plans for the expansion of the North Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone.

Minister Minors said, “It is a pleasure … to join the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation known as BEDC, to announce the Government’s intention to expand the boundary of the North East Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone and the creation of three new EEZs to be known collectively as the Greater Pembroke EEZs.

“You would be aware that Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) are created as vehicles to assist those disadvantaged persons within the zones to achieve equal opportunity.

“As such, EEZs only exist for defined periods of time to allow the businesses and residents within those zones to reach established benchmarks. The EEZs established in Bermuda will exist for a period of 10 years.

Minister Minors continued: “Three additional EEZs have been established to include North West Hamilton, Middletown, and North Village.

“With over 130 businesses currently identified in these areas and the vast majority requiring some form of business assistance, advice, or support, the expanded EEZs will stretch from Happy Valley Road to the south to North Shore Road to the north and from Deepdale Road to the East to Woodland Road to the West.”

Minister Minors’ full statement follows below:

Good afternoon everyone.

It is a pleasure as the Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry to join the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation known as BEDC, to announce the Government’s intention to expand the boundary of the North East Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone and the creation of three new EEZs to be known collectively as the Greater Pembroke EEZs.

You would be aware that Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) are created as vehicles to assist those disadvantaged persons within the zones to achieve equal opportunity – economically, socially and environmentally – and to make the transition to full participation in the economic mainstream.

As such, EEZs only exist for defined periods of time to allow the businesses and residents within those zones to reach established benchmarks. The EEZs established in Bermuda will exist for a period of 10 years.

Designation as an EEZ allows for a variety of incentives to be accessed by qualifying businesses that meet the criteria and show need. Determination is based on Business Plan projections and existing financials along with examination of Personal Financial Net Worth and abilities of the beneficial company owners.

Specific incentives include the BEDC EEZ; Small Business Grant of Technical Assistance and Advice, Small Business Loan of Working Capital, Customs Duty Deferment, and Payroll Tax Concession.

Currently there are three EEZs throughout Bermuda. North East Hamilton was designated first in 2007 followed by Somerset and St. George’s in 2011.

The current North East Hamilton EEZ is a twenty-five square block area located in the North East quadrant of the City of Hamilton. It spans some fifty-nine acres and is bounded by King Street to the East, Victoria Street to the South, Cedar Avenue to the West, and Pembroke Dump to the North.

In 2007 through the analysis work conducted in creating the land use plan for North East Hamilton, the Design Roundtable found similarities in the socio-economic and environmental profiles of the wider surrounding buffer areas.

This included the neighbourhoods stretching out to Montpelier Road in the east, Woodlands Road in the west and North Shore Road in the north (i.e. Middletown, Parsons Road, North Village, North West Hamilton).

The Design Roundtable raised concerns that upon legally establishing the NE Hamilton EEZ, those areas that fell outside of the EEZ boundary would immediately not be able to take advantage of any EEZ incentives and aid by virtue of the boundary. They noted that the businesses in the outlying areas had similar socio-economic and environmental issues that affected businesses in NE Hamilton.

To address this issue, the Round Table recommended a transition area be established around the NE Hamilton EEZ as an interim solution to provide synergy between what occurred inside and outside the zone, until further research could be undertaken with the potential to designate the transition zone and the surrounding areas as EEZs.

In mid to late 2011 and early 2012 the BEDC carried out extensive consultation with stakeholders of new and existing businesses in the areas surrounding North East Hamilton. The response was overwhelmingly positive for the creation of additional economic empowerment zones.

One hundred thirty-seven businesses were identified and surveyed. The research revealed that a sizeable portion of these businesses did not have a business plan; had not prepared current financial statements; and had accounts receivable over 4 months old.

The financial state of these businesses indicates room for improvement and areas where Government policies and programmes could assist noting that the types of services that business owners listed that they needed the most help with included: access to financing, duty relief and payroll tax concessions, and access to financial expertise.

Based on the success of the NE Hamilton EEZ in terms of stimulating entrepreneurs to either create new businesses or have existing businesses open new branches in the area and as a result of the intensive consultation and research conducted – the existing NE Hamilton EEZ has been extended to include areas surrounding North East Hamilton.

In addition, three additional EEZs have been established to include North West Hamilton, Middletown, and North Village. With over 130 businesses currently identified in these areas and the vast majority requiring some form of business assistance, advice, or support, the expanded EEZs will stretch from Happy Valley Road to the south to North Shore Road to the north and from Deepdale Road to the East to Woodland Road to the West.

There will be four distinct zones in close proximity to one another, representative of the distinct issues and opportunities in each neighbourhood. Collectively these four EEZs will be known as the Greater Pembroke EEZs which can be seen here on this aerial view map.

With a commitment to a 10 year EEZ designation, all designated EEZs will be evaluated at the halfway period. For NE Hamilton this period will be in April 2013. Criteria for evaluations will include levels of growth revenues, profits, debt and age of payables and receivables compared to local “mainstream” businesses along with residential population economic indicators.

On behalf of this Ministry, I would like to thank the BEDC Executive Director, Ms. Michelle Khaldun and EEZA Director, Mrs. Erica Smith for all their efforts towards making the designation of EEZs a reality.

In addition I thank the dedicated research team that assisted them with gathering the data that formed the basis of the programs and incentives that exist today.

We know from research that the designation of the EEZs was necessary in order to ensure fairness and opportunities for Bermudians. Through the EEZs this Government intends to continue to stand up for Bermudians by identifying and solving problems.

Today exemplifies the sure and steady progress that is being made to even the economic playing field amongst all businesses in Bermuda.

Thank You.

-

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Comments (47)

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  1. Wow says:

    Sooooo wasnt this an idea that OBA put forth?? Very funny that OBA puts forth an idea and PLP take it….

    • OMG says:

      And you wonder why the PLP have been asking for the OBA’s Platform?? WTF!!!

      • Black Soil says:

        The PLP are yesterday’s party. They all need to go to rehab.

  2. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Clearly it was a good idea when it was put forward, even though the PLP weren’t very complimentary about it at the time. I guess they saw some value in it and have a plan to find the money for it somewhere. Let’s hope they’ve closed that “grant” loophole so this scheme doesn’t founder on the rocks.

  3. Opressed says:

    I wanna vomit!

  4. Building a better Bermuda says:

    Given the decay of our economy and local business, I would suggest they expand the EEZ to retailers down front street too.
    It’s the least they can do since they have so actively set about destroying their businesses in the past.

    • TOILET WATER says:

      Expand it to all of Bermuda. The entie island should qualify amd benefit.

  5. Rick Rock says:

    Oh good. They’re starting to implement OBA policies. That should start to help.

  6. cool... says:

    at this point the economic empowerment zone makes little sense, especially since some shops which were supported by eez can no longer operate their business because of our present economic situation so in a sense we really shouldn’t be giving money to people to start up businesses because that is just more money for us to pay out to people working within the eez. We must be prudent with what little funds we have coming in and if government can afford to give people OUR money to help start a business that is doomed to failure in this economic climate, it is non-sensical..everyweek people are losing jobs and that money needs to go to social assistance to help the needy until we can get on our feet I suggest we cut the bureacratic tape and allow free enterprise to operate within their means as we were before so much red tape,people operated business out of their homes, garage, on the side of the street..Desparate times call for desparate measures and we need to stop p#$$yfooting around the issues … if all the social problems were cut, why are we now giving money to small potential entrepeneurs who really will not be able to sustain any real business. The eez expansion is really not necessary, I didn’t agree with BOB about expanding it, but then again we don’t know whether the OBA are just throwing out suggestions because they are not in the drivers seat yet so they may have to get used to the stick shift,before driving an automatic.

  7. US Observer in Pink Sand says:

    Call The Election…

    • JB says:

      My bets on tomorrow. This is a last ditch effort for votes.

  8. C.B.A says:

    Amazing how the PLP has so many “intentions” right before an election…not to mention this was an OBA idea. You have had over a decade and have failed the people on a large scale. You need to be replaced.

  9. SoMuchMore says:

    they call the oba haters but use the oba’s ideas… so sad plp. call the election.

  10. Richard says:

    They will I didn’t know this was an OBA plan myself and I am not a big fan of them but that all we have to chose from but this is clearly an election move to woo some voters I hope people don’t fall for it and why dose Ms Minors still have a job that what I want to know and if PLP win I have a strong feeling they are going to move her again.

  11. Judge Dredd says:

    @ how, @pastor sly wayward, @depressed, @building a bitter Bermuda, @crack rock, and @US observer in quicksand.
    The Oligarchic Bankrupt Potty (OBA) clearly stated that they wanted to “extend eez ISLAND WIDE” which effectively neuters the potency and purpose of the eez by eliminating the “z” (ZONE). Rejecting and condemning this vile and sneaky idea does not contradict the need to continuously develop these zones by adding constituents through a process of careful consideration. As opposed to the indiscriminate, inconsiderate and snobbish blind blanket the OBA wants to cast over the entire island pretending as though we don’t have any underprivileged. It’s like expanding Hamilton across the while island. You are not fooling anybody. Yes call the election, I know who I’m definitely not voting for.

    • Micro says:

      “As opposed to the indiscriminate, inconsiderate and snobbish blind blanket the OBA wants to cast over the entire island pretending as though we don’t have any underprivileged.” – implying there aren’t businesses and underprivileged persons that can benefit from such a program elsewhere?

      It should be islandwide and open to all who can benefit the assistance.

      • Judge Dredd says:

        No! Implying that there are PRIVILEGED who you would like to include undeservedly effectively destroying the “EE” economic empowerment as well as the “Z” because it makes the whole island a zone. I smell snobbery. And I disrespect you for pretending that “islandwide” coming from the OBA means anything less than “watered down and fizzled out to insignificance”. The EEZ can be applied to any zone anywhere it applies on the island not EVERYWHERE on the island snob. That’s a big f-a-i-l to you for trying to imply that plp limits the EEZ to one location. There are already EEZ’s in Somerset and St. George’s designated in 2011. I see you and you don’t fool me. Call the election!

        • Micro says:

          Blind idiot…

          So you’re saying because I’m not setting up shop in this so called “underprivileged zone” I’m well off and wouldn’t benefit from assistance?

          “There are already EEZ’s in Somerset and St. George’s” – What about anywhere between Great Head and Dockyard not in any EEZ? There aren’t any “underprivileged” there?

          Speaking of St.George’s, an EEZ has been a great help hasn’t?

          • Judge Dredd says:

            You enjoy setting up strawman arguments instead of sticking with what has been said. The EEZ had begun with the most challenged areas and does not claim that only those in those areas are challenged. Of course there are challenged elsewhere but they sure as hell don’t live in Paget, Smiths, Southampton, and Tuckers town in significant numbers as they do elsewhere. Face it, extending EEZ to the more affluent is criminal snobbery. So quit the buffoonery. You basically are saying that the WHOLE ISLAND should be an EEZ. You my pitied friend, are guilty of buffoonery.

            • LOL (original TM*) says:

              There are requirements to get the support they just don’t give it to any one. So no some rich guy is not going to get the aid of the eez. Who you trying push “buffoonery” (who uses that word anyway) on……………………

              LOL

    • Thankfully you are fast becoming the minority…

    • Mad Dawg says:

      So you would dicriminate against people outside the EEZ. I see.

    • Anon Ymous says:

      How about if the island wide principal means the abolishment of the whole discriminatory ‘zone’ concept where the same business support is applied by means of an application by the business and a decision based on means testing and need?

      • Judge Dredd says:

        The problem with that is that if an area is underdeveloped we must discriminate and be fair. We cannot treat all areas as though they are the same. I’m sure you discriminate when you choose where you want to live or shop. So the area is in need of attention and that is why it has begun here. It does not suggest that others are not in need, but zones are indeed important because other areas are recognised as shipping zones. Your business will do better or worse due to location and you know that’s true. If your business is on front street you really think it’s fair to receive the same attention as one in pembroke north? C’mon!

        • Morpheus says:

          There are guidelines to qualify the business. So everyone would not qualify. If you are disadvantaged in those areas then yes you would. Small businesses are struggling all over the island…location of zone is not as big as “do the businesses meet the qualifications.”

  12. Vote For Me Blah Blah Blah says:

    The sad thing is the silly PLP supporters have a short memory and will vote them back in based on what they are doing for the last couple of months not on a decade of poor government and screwing up the economy. The PLP know how ignorant their supporters are so it should be no problem for them.

  13. MIDDLETOWN says:

    BIG UP MY MIDDLETOWN YUTE! WE GETTIN MO MONEY!!!!$$$$$$$$$

  14. ritards says:

    All you guvment ministers are a buncha ritards. SO LETS HELP THE DISADVANTAGED BY GIVING THEM MORE OF AN ADVANTAGE THAN THE REGULAR BERMUDIAN!

    WHY do we need these places to get help?!?!?!?! all shops in THE MAIN city are suffering. help out the shops that support tourism you retards. help out the shops that MAKE money. helping a failed shop aint gonna help no one.

  15. Solidarity says:

    This is a great opportunity for a bipartisan effort whoever wins the election. The OBA should be commended for their willingness to include and work with the PLP. Bermuda will go to the stars if we combine forces. I hope the PLP will consider talking to people outside their inner clique who can add value.

  16. goodideabadidea says:

    At least Art Mel’s and House of India are in the economic zone!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      So are the 42nd & parkside hangouts. Well, I if they put office buildings back there the suits on yay will be happy they won’t have to go far to get their sniff sniff. They’ll also have an excuse now for being back in the darkside of town.

      OH WELL! Anything to boost economy heh!

      Maybe once Obama legalizes to get those colorado voters we’ll follow suit & I can start the first herbal culture shop back there. Tourist would love that! We could gain that 1.6 billion netherlands will lose once the christian democrat party have got their way with the weit pass country wide.

  17. Baileys bay says:

    6 months ago we formed a brand new company in Bermuda. We provided capital, expertise and the business model, we did not ask government for a grant or any help at all beyond quickly processing a work permit for a key member of our small team.

    5 months later said work permit was finally approved….the only advice I have for this government is to get the heck out of the way. 5 months is nothing to a civil servant, I understand that. 5 months in the private sector is an eternity of time, opportunity and money lost forever.

  18. Bullseye says:

    “We know from research that the designation of the EEZs was necessary in order to ensure fairness and opportunities for Bermudians. Through the EEZs this Government intends to continue to stand up for Bermudians by identifying and solving problems.

    Today exemplifies the sure and steady progress that is being made to even the economic playing field amongst all businesses in Bermuda.”

    Indirectly the PLP has already achieved the goal they speak of here.

    They have taken businesses that were healthy to the point of breaking or closing which is in effect the same position a start-up would face. Yet the existing business has employees and pays taxes, insurance etc that have been paid for years in hopes of gain, but let’s not worry about them for they have their money.
    The new business is going to expect a profit, and it’s biggest concern will be payroll so employees are not going to be a factor right away. The new business needs to make sure it can get on it’s feet and make a profit. Why is it wrong for the bigger business to expect one when it is employing people and paying taxes, insurance etc?

    Most of the start-ups are tech related. Who do they work for if the companies are gone? The web designer has no work if the small shops can’t afford to hire them. Forget starting a small shop. You can if your expectations are minimal and you and your family are working there maybe, and you have a dynamite product, but people have the internet and bigger companies have the intel to find the goods, and try to find them cheaper. Plumbers and carpenters and construction workers are having a hard time finding work so who are these businesses?

    The PLP has dried up the business. They have. Now they want to even the playing field? I say – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

    Empowering is one thing. Destroying one business so another can open and suffer the same demise due to a terrible environment* is not reaching the goal intended.

    *terrible environment – I have posted before on this that the terrible environment has been created by the PLP and not the weather. They overspent in record numbers creating debt whilst record income came in that they did nothing but threaten. Without this reckless waste we would all be quite calm right now. PLP had it good and messed up royally. All they had to do was do a good job. They did not. They would have my vote if they had done a good job. Plain and simple.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      “The PLP has dried up the business. They have. Now they want to even the playing field?”

      No need for the question mark at the end this is exactly what it is & just as your screen name you have hit the bullseye on this.

      The PLP has always stomped their feet & raised their fist to the promotion of back of town businesses for their own obvious gain. If I bet all the money I have on the first new business opening up in the new EEZ zone being somehow connected to the gain of certain PLP ministers whether through ownership, shares or other means I’m sure the odds would favor me.

      So, who wants to be the first to bet me? I could use some extra ching in this economic climate.

  19. theothersidebda says:

    Does it really matter if it’s an OBA program? I prefer the standing government to implement the best strategies, the right strategies, from wherever they come from. Sure the timing is a bit of an election ploy but better now than never.

    I think we stand a very good chance of OBA winning the popluar vote and losing the election based on the consituency seats. So if the PLP implements all of the OBA ideas, I say let them. We may not see them implemented at all if the only way it gets done is if the OBA wins.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      So why have two parties just melt them into one answer they can’t get by race for starters two we need another opinion or a “devils advocate” to try to see the issues with ideas to make sure that no glaring loop holes or short sightedness occurs with proposed legislation. Personally I think we have too many seats in the house we could lose 4 and redraw the lines.

      LOL

  20. one eye open says:

    the expansion of the EEZ has been in the works for about a year now, all small businessess in the North Village area had been spoken too on this, so it was not a an OBA idea at all.

    • LOL (original TM*) says:

      Actually the OBA have been saying this since it came in to existence. Maybe what they say is true some people have short memories for certain things let this be about a piece of history and I know your all over that…………..

      LOL

  21. Victor says:

    The danger is that like the BHC scam, funds earmarked for worthy causes like this could well end up funding Dr. Evil’s vineyard.

  22. The Lorax A.K.A. Tommy Chong says:

    So OBA & PLP both think its a good idea to encourage the overdevelopment of the rest of Pembroke. What happened to all those empty rooms in Hamilton? Why not work on filling those up by government setting cap laws against the landlords overpricing of rent on front, reid, church & victoria. This will just cause the main hamilton area to become a ghost town where eventually the criminal element will move to. Visitors will really feel welcome when they get off the ferries or cruise ships if any will even come to front again then.

    I guess the puppets nodding their empty heads to this idea don’t realize it will only benefit the number one plp go to construction firms. Even the dense property owning bigwigs obviously from the current look at where Hamilton is going have more money than brains to realize this will just be a push to waste more money on development while their old buildings become even more empty when the last of IB move to the cheaper ones in “DE GHETTO”.

    • Judge Dredd says:

      I smell snobbery.

      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        “Thou salt not Judge”…………………….

        LOL

        • LOL (original TM*) says:

          thats “shalt” trying to be a smart a#$ get me again……………………..

          LOL point one finger three back hahahaha

      • The Lorax A.K.A. Tommy Chong says:

        Snobbery? On who’s part? Can’t mean me because I’ve mentioned the idea of reduced rent. This idea is far from snobbish. The “DE GHETTO” is not my opinion if that’s what your pointing at thats why its in quotations. This is the wankstas & the wanksta worshipers opinion of our backstreets & I’ve heard it implied as “DE GHETTO” many times by those who live there. This mentality has allowed it to become what it is & the wankstas like it this way because it allows them to feel they have control. My point is that sure if businesses move back there it most likely will clean the wall sitting scum up but they won’t just give up their big illegal money making ways they’ll just move to a less business populated area which will the current business area. We’ve seen how interest in business diverged to another area has affected St. Georges & it will be the same if more business areas with of course cheaper rents are available in a still central location. Another thing is that rent will only be cheaper back there till it becomes prime real estate so the issue skirted around will still come back to haunt in the future. It just seems like a covert way for the start up business men in OBA & PLP to position themselves up as the new forty thieves. This may help IB to come back but it will be the final end to tourism because tourist will not hike all the way to back of town to shop. We’ll become like one of the NYC island just not the popular ones like Manhattan but the unpopular where all you see when you get off the ferry is buildings & low income houses.

  23. Obvious says:

    It should be open to any NEW business of less than 5 years with under 10 employees. It is discrimination to be only in one area. Numerous other new businesses or potential start ups which are NOT in the EEZ NEED this help also.

    THATS IS ALL.

  24. Opressed says:

    Were the cement silos in the EEZ????