TCI: Two Month Election Win Anniversary, another bankable announcement by PNP Govt through the Treasury
#TurksandCaicos, April 21, 2021 – It was an announcement long past due for thousands of Turks and Caicos Islanders who learned on March 1 they would benefit from the millions of dollars which had been set aside for cash support during the Coronavirus pandemic. No hurdles to hop, no rivers to cross because the only qualification this time around was being a citizen of the country.
It was a landmark move and a rare occasion which gave the indigenous people of the territory a feeling of advantage; and it was credited to the quick work and empathy of the newly elected Washington Misick administration of the Progressive National Party.
“Less than six (6) weeks since taking office and four (4) weeks since approving this program, I am pleased to say that over twelve thousand (12,000) persons have been able to benefit from this programme with cheque distribution having begun on Friday, 26 March, 2021.
This was no small undertaking as it required the careful consideration, time and effort of a number of key stakeholders across government including the support of my Cabinet and House of Assembly colleagues, but most importantly the operational support of my Finance Team that did an excellent job in the roll-out delivery of this programme,” said Hon Washington Misick, Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade in a statement on April 9.
On the two month anniversary of winning 14 of 15 seats at the polls, Misick and his team would have another popular announcement reach the masses, via a government issued media statement. It extended the Citizen’s Relief $1,000 cash grant programme from wrapping up on April 25, to instead conclude with cheque distribution and delivery of some cheques to the end of June.
“To ease the congestion at the various TCI Treasuries and reduce the wait time for collection, approved citizen relief stimulus recipients are advised of the following amendments that have been made to the cheque distribution process: Extension of the date for collection of grant payments. The final day for collection of Citizen Relief Stimulus cheques will be on 30th June 2021,” informed the Ministry of Finance.
The requirement for in-person collection of cheques made the already super-sized undertaking, a mammoth venture logistically and it got complicated for the Finance Team when the in-person requirement during cheque distribution could not be met by qualified and approved applicants.
For some individuals, they were trapped abroad caught in the UK lock down. For others, medical treatment and urgent matters out of country prevented an in person pick up of the waiting cheque within the given timeframe. In the case of the inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, a system had not yet been agreed on how those qualified would secure their cheques and others who were simply unable to bear the long lines due to health constraints or illness; all of which represented reasonable scenarios which left hundreds out.
The PNP Administration went on record to say the purpose of the cash stimulus was to get the $1,000 into the hands of citizens of the country, to exhaust the approved $14.5 million to support residents who suffered economically over the pandemic.
“Recognizing the negative impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had on our islands over the last year, my government in its second but first substantive Cabinet meeting on 1st March 2021 approved the payment of one thousand dollars ($1,000) to all eligible Turks and Caicos Islanders and British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) that have been residing in these islands during the last twelve (12) months,” said Premier Misick in that April 9 statement commending his finance team.
“For this, I express my profound thanks to the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the Permanent Secretary of Finance, Mrs. Athenee Basden and Deputy Secretaries, Mrs. Shonia Thomas-Been and Mr. Stuart Taylor; the Director of ITT, Mr. Andre Mills and his team for leading on the development of the application portal and all technical requirements; the Director of Statistics and his team for providing review and vetting support; the Accountant General, Mr. Hemant Sinanan and his team for their work on the payment and distribution system, as well as support provided from the Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams, the staff of Revenue Control Unit and Customs Department on the roll out of the programme.”
Despite these efforts, there continues to be extreme lines at the Treasury’s Office in Providenciales and the department has now publically acknowledged the need to make some allowances.
“For applicants who are seeking medical treatment overseas (along with persons who accompanied them), subsequent to their citizen relief grant being approved, the cancelation of the stimulus cheque will be delayed up to the earlier of the applicant’s return to the island or three months from the date the cheque was printed.
Applicants who fall within these criteria would be required to submit a written request along with supporting documentation to the email@example.com email address.”
In those cases, the Treasury Office informed: “The supporting documentation would include, but not limited to the following: Copy of travel itinerary departing and returning to and from the TCI; Medical documentation to support claim of overseas treatment; Name of Applicant and Citizen Relief Application number.”
For those, unable to physically make the journey to pick up the waiting cheques; the Treasury Office again demonstrates a willingness to have them benefit from the program.
“Citizen Relief Stimulus recipients who are disabled or confined to their home (in Turks & Caicos Islands), the Treasury will be providing a cheque delivery service to the applicants’ home. To utilize this facility approved applicants are asked to make a written request, for the delivery of the cheque to firstname.lastname@example.org. The request must include the following:
a copy of the approved applicant ID; application number; phone number and address for the cheque to be delivered.”
Invest Turks and Caicos’ Business Support Unit partners with the Department of Trade to deliver Export Opportunities for MSMEs Training
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, May 19th, 2023 – On Thursday, May 11th, 2023, Invest Turks and Caicos’ Business Support Unit (BSU); partnered with the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition to host the Export Opportunities for MSMEs Training. In attendance were nineteen business owners; who participated in the free, interactive training held at Blue Haven Resort from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.
The training was facilitated by Ms. Lisandra Colley, Director of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition. During the training, the participants learned the following:
- Essentials of accessing the international market
- Basics of exporting and the benefits of exporting for MSMEs
- Export opportunities to access the Canadian and UK markets
- Requirements and procedures for the exportation of goods to Canada and the UK
- Understand how to use Canadian and UK government interactive tools to export
Commenting on the Training, Director of Trade, Lisandra Colley expressed, “Bolstered by its trade-related technical assistance pillar, the Department of Trade, Industry, and Fair Competition (DTIFC) aims to provide capacity building training and seminars to equip businesses across the TCI to fully participate in the domestic and international trading systems. The partnership between the DTIFC and Invest TCI to host the Seminar ‘Export Opportunities for MSMEs’ epitomizes our shared commitment to empower micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Through this collaborative effort, we provided participants with the essential knowledge and tools needed to access international markets and leverage preferential trading arrangements. By understanding the benefits of exporting, identifying potential markets, and grasping the requirements and procedures for successful export, participants are better equipped to seize opportunities in the Canadian and UK markets and worldwide.”
Anissa Adderley, Director of the Business Support Unit, also provided her feedback on the training “To strengthen the awareness of trade opportunities for MSMEs, the BSU will continue its partnership with the Department of Trade. We invite all entrepreneurs and small business owners to participate in our next collaborative training, to be held Thursday, September 12th, 2023, titled Incorporating Product Standards for Sustainable Trade.
Additionally, we welcome all businesses to take advantage of the free services offered by the Business Support Unit, namely Business Planning, Training, Counselling, Administrative Services, and MSME Programme Recipient Support. We provide the support you need to ensure your business is resilient and sustainable. Let us help you take your business to the next level.”
For more information on Invest TCI events, visit www.investturksandcaicos.tc or follow us on social media at @investtci.
A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS: SANDALS® DUNN’S RIVER JAMAICA’S NEWEST RESORT OPENS IN OCHO RIOS
~Celebrating its Storied Past with Design Inspired by Dunn’s River Falls, A Bevy of New Culinary Concepts and the Introduction of Jamaica’s first SkyPool Suites~
OCHO RIOS, JAMAICA, May 24, 2023 – Following a momentous grand opening celebration on May 19th, the all-new Sandals Dunn’s River opens today as the 17th resort in the award-winning Sandals Resorts portfolio. Located on a stunning stretch of white sand beach – a site originally handpicked by legendary hotelier and Sandals Resorts International founder the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart when the first Sandals Dunn’s River debuted over 30 years ago, today’s Sandals Dunn’s River is a completely new and utterly transformed hotel and experience. Featuring new culinary concepts and elevated suite designs, the 260-room luxury all-inclusive resort offers a deeply personal connection to its alluring setting on Jamaica’s north coast.
“Ocho Rios has been the backdrop of some of my family’s most pivotal moments, including along this very beach where my father grew up and turned a perhaps once unimaginable dream into one of the world’s most well-known hotel brands,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI). “Today, we celebrate innovation and a commitment to excellence as we unveil the next generation of Sandals Resorts in our home country of Jamaica. I cannot think of a better way to honor his legacy and acknowledge the incredible future of our brand than to welcome our very first guests to Sandals Dunn’s River. It’s great to have you home.”
Sandals Dunn’s River infuses its Jamaican roots into every sense, designed to embrace the essence of the destination’s rivers, lush forests, and majestic banyan trees. The source of the water that flows through Sandals Dunn’s River is from the natural reserves of the Dunn’s River Falls, from the lobby waterfalls to the cascading pools of the Red Lane® Spa. Guests at Sandals Dunn’s River will also experience the debut of the brand’s first-ever signature fragrance. Designed to evoke the romance of the Caribbean and encapsulate the brilliant flora and fauna surrounding the resort, the scent is an explosion of colors – from white florals and fruits to notes of sandalwood and musk in the background – and greets guests upon arrival to the open-air lobby.
Naturally Chic Accommodations
Sandals “Firsts” on resort include Tufa Terrace SkyPool Butler Suites, a first in Jamaica with glass panel edge infinity pools spanning the length of balconies flanked by views of the Caribbean Sea. Guests checking in to Coyaba Sky Swim-up Rondoval Butler Suites with Private Pools will find Sandals’ iconic standalone circular villas have been thoughtfully reimagined with vast open-air rooftops from where to bask under the Ocho Rios sun and stars. Luxurious Mammee Bay Beachfront Butler Suites® feature expansive balconies that overlook the sea with privileged sunset views, and Travertine Beachfront Club Level Rooms are named after the well-known Dunn’s River Falls’ giant, natural limestone steps. Beautifully appointed rooms and a luxurious resort requires team members outfitted in similar style and they are, thanks to a special partnership with legendary fashion designer Stan Herman who collaborated with resort staff to develop a collection fit for the Caribbean.
Indulging in a New Era
The connection to Jamaica continues at BLŪM, one of 12 new culinary concepts. An ode to the island’s majestic Blue Mountains, the quaint coffee outpost offers a first-of-its-kind coffee drinking experience with 25-cup cold drip towers, nitro cold brew on tap and Modbar pour-over units reaping the very best out of Jamaica’s coveted bean – all best enjoyed paired with delectable pastries and treats. At Dunn’s Rum Club, guests can travel throughout the Caribbean via the region’s signature libation. Featuring the largest selection of rum on the island of Jamaica and any other Sandals Resort, Dunn’s Rum Club celebrates the quintessential spirit by merging together storytelling with curated, cleverly named rum flights. Evenings were made for lingering at the swank Lapidus Lounge, an homage to Morris Lapidus, the famed architect who designed the site’s first resort – the Arawak Hotel, and whose joyful designs epitomized 1960s Caribbean chic. This is the place to admire the bevy of architectural references and raise a toast to the visionary himself with a Morris Manhattan. Seaside, guests can sink their toes into the sand while enjoying libations at Laughing Waters Beach Bar, named after the nearby fresh water falls that bubble up and gently spill to the sea. For an authentic taste of Jamaica, the Jerk Shack is as traditional as it is delicious, offering crispy festival – fried sweet corn cakes, alongside spicy “jerked” meats and seafood infused with local allspice and scotch bonnet pepper.
In addition to the local libations and coffee creations, guests can also savor a number of new culinary feats including Hamani, an izakaya-inspired sushi restaurant that brings the elegance of traditional Japan to the Caribbean; Edessa, where the Caribbean and Aegean seas meet; an Asian-fusion menu at Banyu, which offers a blend of cultures all in a single dining experience; Central and South American flavors at Zuka; Italian at Cascata; a taste of France at L’Amande; grilled delights and island staples at Galene; or the eatery Saltaire, offering live-action breakfast and lunch selections.
Immersing Guests in the Soul of Ocho Rios
From teeing off with complimentary green fees at the nearby and newly refurbished Sandals Upton Estate Golf & Country Club and diving the depths of the ocean and exploring marine sanctuaries with world-class partners at PADI to rafting the Martha Brae River on a 30-foot, artisan-crafted bamboo raft, Sandals Dunn’s River puts Ocho Rios’ natural treasures at guests’ fingertips with its quintessential Luxury Included® offerings.
“Building extraordinary resorts that make it easy for our guests to authentically experience our home countries and the people that bring these incredible places to life, is the work of Sandals Resorts. The Caribbean is wide and diverse and brimming with flavor, and fun. There is so much to discover here and we want to bring our guests closer to it all,” said Stewart.
Tune in to SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart on the Sandals Palmcast as he introduces Sandals Dunn’s River and welcomes the Caribbean’s newest dream destination to the Sandals portfolio here. For more information and to reserve your stay, visit: https://www.sandals.com/dunns-river/.
TCIG not calling Woman’s injury a ‘Shark Attack’
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 25, 2023 – Where and How? Those are the questions now arising from Wednesday’s marine incident which left a young woman without her foot. The police and one local business say it was a shark attack, another government agency, the DECR was much more vague.
In a press release around midday Thursday, the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources said, “A 22-year-old female visitor from Connecticut was severely injured while snorkeling… The matter is still under investigation by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.”
Missing from that press release any mention of or warning to be careful of sharks.
Big Blue Collective on the other hand in a statement to Magnetic Media that same day said this:
“Only two individuals were in the water, which was clear and calm, when a presumed Caribbean Reef Shark left one snorkeler with an injury due to what is known in diving circles as a case of mistaken identity,” they continued, “The calm, quick and measured response from one of our captains and office team meant that the victim was extracted from the ocean and dispatched in the ambulance in 15 minutes, saving them from a potentially life-threatening situation.”
The communications team at Big Blue Collective stressed to us that this was not to be used to characterize the TCIs waters. Both DECR and Big Blue reminded the public that these incidents are very rare.
The DECR said the incident happened in an area known as the Bone Yard Dive Site, part of the Princess National Park; a protected marine environment.
Photos of the victim’s injury show that her foot, severed completely at the ankle, was thankfully recovered whole.
The Police report had inaccuracies and was retracted last night. However, not before news media locally and abroad reported the facts as laid out by them.
The TCI Hospitals’ statement said, “The patient received immediate medical attention by our Emergency Response trauma team. The patient’s injury is considered serious and, after a period of stabilization, was transferred to a tertiary care facility for further management on that evening, Wednesday, May 24th 2023…”
Sources told our news team the nature of the injury requires a multi-agency investigation to sort out what exactly occurred in the water.
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