The Chamber of Commerce is ready for you in 2021!
On behalf of the staff, the Director and the Board of the Chamber of Commerce Bonaire, we would like to wish you a successful 2021 filled with new ventures, good results and good health. During 2020 the Chamber of Commerce has worked hard to be able to meet your needs and to be able to provide you with the necessary support. The Chamber of Commerce looks back on a year in which it has offered the following support:
- Introducing a support desk in order to provide recommendations concerning the COVID-19 support measures issued by the European Netherlands and other institutions (such as Qredits, OLB (Public Entity of Bonaire) and BCN (Caribbean Netherlands Tax Office)). To this end we have answered a total of 1,196 e-mails.
- Communicating with entrepreneurs by telephone to provide a sympathetic ear and to establish whether we could offer further support.
- Regularly consulting with the local government and the Dutch Ministries regarding –among other things- the COVID-19 measures.
- Lobbying for the implementation of an extension to the EZK (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate) support measure for Fixed Cost Reimbursement of $2,200 meant for small businesses.
- Introducing a “Virus Aware Seal” in cooperation with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and Green Destinations. This is issued as a quality certification when entrepreneurs have taken the necessary precautions to comply with the protocols in order to successfully deal with viruses, including COVID-19.
- Conducting a representative survey among the entrepreneurs on Bonaire to assess the challenges they face, their expectations and the impact they experience on their business operations.
- Holding meetings with State Secretary Knops to make him aware of the effects of the coronavirus issues for the entrepreneurs and the necessity for support measures.
Non COVID-19 related
- Holding meetings with the Parliamentary delegation that visited the Chamber of Commerce in early 2020 in order to outline bottlenecks that entrepreneurs face on Bonaire.
- Processing 566 new registrations in the Commercial Register.
- Participating in various consultation initiatives, such as the Central Dialogue (CD), Blue Destination steering group, Island Crime Control Platform, Caribbean Netherlands Payments Working Group, Master Plan 2030, Tourism Recovery Plan and thus continuously raising the interests of entrepreneurs.
- Coaching start-ups and connecting them with investors via the “present your start-up” program.
- Organizing various campaigns in order to raise awareness of Blue Destination in cultural matters, including launching the Blue Destination certification for entrepreneurs.
- Launching the Chamber of Commerce Academy with a training curriculum designed to increase the chances of success for entrepreneurs.
- Organizing and encouraging an entrepreneur Crisis Management Seminar aimed at dealing with setbacks experienced in the entrepreneurial field.
- Strengthening contacts with various stakeholders who are relevant to the activities of the Chamber of Commerce, such as OLB, R&O (Space and Development Directorate), SZW (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment), Plenchi di Trabou, BCN, EZK, IND (Immigration and Naturalization Service)
- Answering a total of 391 information requests and customer calls with questions about starting a business and /or establishing one on Bonaire.
- Organizing information sessions in collaboration with BCN about various types of taxes relevant to entrepreneurs.
- Encouraging entrepreneurship at schools by conducting information sessions at Kolegio Rayo di Solo, Strea Briante, MBO and Liseo Boneriano.
In addition, during 2020 the Chamber of Commerce website -with 8,200 page views- and our social media -with more than 2,000 followers- have proven to be an important source of information for entrepreneurs.
In 2021 you may also count on the Chamber of Commerce team for support, guidance and representation of your interests. Once again the staff, the Director and the Board of the Chamber of Commerce wish you an enterprising New Year!