#TurksandCaicosIslands, May 13, 2020 – Hassle-free loans with soft terms are a viable option to bring buoyancy to some of the tourism and hotel sector businesses in Turks and Caicos struggling to survive in the midst of a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, revealed a new survey.
More than half of those who participated in an April survey, conducted by KPMG and commissioned by the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association, TCHTA replied that ‘yes’, they would take out a loan.
“Fifty-four per cent of employers said that they would choose to apply for additional debt if it can be made available on “soft terms” i.e. with no “red tape”, no additional security and where it is to be used for specific purposes. This does not take into account other sources of finance such as private equity, mezzanine finance etc.” said that survey which was, this week, issued to members of the TCHTA and media.
It is not a far-fetched prospect for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to support the opportunity for companies to stay afloat amidst the public health crisis which has grounded travel indefinitely. With so much at stake, the survey recommends that TCIG would do well to support a Staff Retention Program and government-backed loans.
“This is another suggestion that has been put forward to TCIG and HMG on behalf of TCHTA which is modelled on an initiative already introduced in the UK called a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme. In the UK 80% of such loans are backed by the government.
Any initiative in TCI along these lines need not necessarily be exactly the same as the initiatives introduced in the UK but it appears from anecdotal evidence that something similar with a credit enhancement component e.g. a sovereign guarantee of some description will be needed to make more debt available in the prevailing circumstances and to entice employers to take on more debt to finance commitments to the program.”
The suggestion, explained the report, is both practicable and internationally touted.
“This initiative put forward by TCHTA is also consistent with the actions that WTTC are advocating to global governments with substantial tourism industries.”
A government guaranteed loan scheme is however, not hugely popular for the membership of the TCHTA. Some 46 per cent of those taking the survey expressed that they would not apply for a loan.
The survey was administered between April 12-20. Employers participating in the questionnaire represent 5,606 employees.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Students not in school cite Fees as Roadblock
Dana Malcolm and Wilkie Arthur
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Concerning reports are coming out of Providenciales regarding the placement of students as the new term got started.
Wilkie Arthur, Magnetic Media Court Correspondent, had the opportunity to speak with several young people who were supposed to be in school. Instead, they were hanging out close to home, as they said they couldn’t afford the fees of the private schools they had been placed in.
Edgar Howell, Director of Education, during an August 31st press conference, had indicated that at least 26 students were awaiting assistance with placement in private high schools and 35 students were awaiting placements in primary schools. Parents should have heard from the ministry within days.
“The schools are full and they don’t have any more money to continue the [private] schools they were going to. So, this bright September morning these children are actually just idle,” he explained.
By law (Education Ordinance 2009), all children between four and 16 years old in the Turks and Caicos Islands are considered of ‘Compulsory School Age’ meaning, they must be enrolled in an institution.
It has long been the practice of the Ministry of Education to place students in private schools and subsidize the fees when space has run out in public schools. This year was no different.
“The Ministry continues to provide assistance to the parents through the private school subsidy program and 375 students are being assisted for the 2023/24 school year,” Howell explained.
It’s not clear if these students were a part of that number.
We have since reached out to representatives at the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Education for information on students who are not in school, how many remain unable to fit into public school classes and what provisions are in place for those students; there has been no update.
Grand Turk residents say they suffered lack attention from TCIAA
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Upgrades are underway at the JAGS McCartney International Airport but Grand Turk Residents say they were subject to subpar conditions for far too long; the comments came at a town hall meeting hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority in the capital on Thursday September 21, at Dillon Hall.
“I am speaking on behalf of Grand Turk residents. It is unacceptable for the Airports Authority to treat residents how they do,” one resident told TCIAA executives at a town hall meeting in Grand Turk.
The airport was hit during Hurricane Fiona in late 2022, resulting in a destroyed roof and serious damage to the terminals from extensive flooding plus damage to the domestic and international arrival areas, deeming the area unfit for use.
The hurricane damage last year only exacerbated the destruction wrought by previous storms including 2008’s Hurricane Ike and 2017’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The JAGS McCartney International was reopened for domestic arrivals just this past June after phase one of a restoration project. The international terminal was scheduled to open soon after but repairs are still ongoing. Residents told TCIAA executives, the work was simply not executed quickly enough.
“The lack of attention that they paid to the JAGS McCartney Airport after the hurricane, having the residents of this island come in like we’re from a third world country for months? It’s unacceptable for residents of this island for you all to leave us like that,” a resident maintained.
Ongoing updates include fixing the perimeter fence and parking lot as well as the fire station. Residents appeared grateful but cautiously optimistic.
“We see the plans that you have— which is good, and we hope that the next time we have a disaster we don’t have to be waiting for months [and] be treated like that.”
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