October 11, 2013
I have been reading with interest, and great hope, about Government initiatives to create jobs which are based mainly, it seems, on the idea of bringing people into the country or Bermudians back to the Island. I have not read about specific help for start-ups on this Island.
Having just started my own business, I have some first-hand experience of the level of help available. I must say straight away that those I have dealt with have been fantastic — encouraging, welcoming and with lots of advice.
However, that has been all. Yes, there are the EEZs, but I am not covered by an EEZ and as far as I can see there are no tax breaks for start-ups, there are no breaks for paying social insurance and no breaks for paying into a pension. Clearly an accountant or tax lawyer would be able to help, but as a start-up I don’t have the cash to use their services. If there are any breaks, then clearly they are not being communicated.
There will be many out there who are saying ‘nothing existed for me when I started my own business and I managed’, but times have changed. Bermuda is challenged in a way that it has never been challenged before. It is the worst recession in living memory, thousands are unemployed, thousands have left the Island, not to be replaced. Millions of dollars have left the economy. It is at times like this that governments justify being in government.
I am not asking for a nanny state, I am not asking for special treatment, I am asking that the focus on job creation should also be very much on our own doorsteps. From what I read, that does not seem to be the case.
Efforts to boost jobs in Bermuda must not ignore local talent trying to achieve success here. These start-ups are by entrepreneurs who see a gap or a need in the market. They are the ones committed to the Island and its future (a future they are trying to shape) and they are the ones who will keep the wealth on-Island. They are worth investing in.
I would be very interested in feedback about this. My e-mail address is email@example.com