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Compiled By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 13, 2020: Here are some of the top business and finance news making headlines across the Caribbean this week.

Regional

Here are all the Caribbean countries you can work from remotely and how to make it happen.

1: Barbados

Barbados launched this option in the region first. Though it “Welcome Stamp” remote work visa is a bit pricey — $2,000, or $3,000 for a “family bundle” – the visa is good for one year but can be extended. Participants aren’t liable for Barbados income tax. And the island has some of the best internet access, health facilities and weather in the Caribbean. For more information, visit barbadoswelcomestamp.bb/visas/.

2: Bermuda

Bermuda is now offering a year-long residency certificate for $263. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and “demonstrate good character and not have conviction for an indictable offence.” Travelers who don’t want to spend an entire year can stay up to six months in Bermuda without a visa. For more see gov.bm/articles/one-1-year-residency-certificate-policy.

3: Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda has launched its digital nomad residency program. The Caribbean nation said it would allow remote workers earning at least $50,000 a year to live and work there for up to two years through the program, which provides special resident status to digital nomads who can show the means to support themselves and any accompanying family members as well as whose employers are based outside of the destination. The cost for a single applicant is $1,500. The application cost for a couple is $2,000 and for a family of three or more is $3,000. See more here.

4: Aruba

Aruba is offering its “One Happy Workation” program, which allows US remote workers to live and work in Aruba for up to 90 days, as long as they have a US passport.

The program offers a collection of deals and discounted rates at a variety of local accommodations and free wi-fi.  Get all details here.

5: Anguilla

Anguilla’s Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Quincia Gumbs-Marie, said in a statement that for the first wave of visitors, the tourism board is prioritizing “longer-stay travelers” and applicants who come from countries, states, or cities “where the COVID-19 prevalence is less than 0.2%.”

Visitors can stay and work remotely on the island for up to 12 months, according to the island’s application. To stay on the island for less than three months, accepted individuals are required to pay $1,000, and a family of four is charged $1,500. Individuals who plan to stay in Anguilla for between three months and a year must pay $2,000, and the fee for a family of four is $3,000. Families of more than four will be charged an additional fee per person. Apply here.

6: The Bahamas

The Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program is a one-year residency permit is designed to allow professionals and students to  work or study remotely from The Bahamas.

BEATS applies to those whose workplaces and classrooms have shifted from face-to-face to virtual as COVID-19 has brought unprecedented flexibility to the traditional work from home environment. With 16 islands to choose from and plenty of breathtaking views, visitors can forget about daydreaming about a tropical vacation and start living it.

The BEATS permit is valid up to 12 months from the date of issue. The total cost for individual professionals to apply for and obtain a BEATS permit is $1,025, while college students wishing to apply will be required to pay $525, inclusive of the application and permit fee.

For more information on BEATS, visit www.bahamasbeats.com. To apply to be the WFH envy of your office/classroom, visit https://portal.immigration.gov.bs/.

7:  The Cayman Islands is also began offering long-term remote work options for international employees and their families through it Global Citizen Concierge Program (GCCP), an initiative designed for digital nomads looking to take advantage of the flexibility provided by remote work.

Eligible professionals and families can upgrade their home offices by choosing to live and work remotely in the Cayman Islands for up to two years through a Global Citizen Certificate.

Travelers interested in obtaining the Global Citizen Certificate are invited to apply online here. Applicants must provide a letter showing proof of employment with an entity outside of the Cayman Islands, stating position and annual salary. Minimum salary requirements are: US$100,000 for single households; US$150,000 for two person households and US$180,000 for a family with children.

Fees range from US$1,469 per annum per individual to US$500 per dependent, per annum.

St. Lucia

The Caribbean island of St. Lucia’s COVID-19 Relief Bond runs through December 31, 2020 as part of its Citizenship by Investment Program. 

The creation of this special COVID-19 Relief Bond starting at USD 250,000 is a non-interest-bearing government bond to which no processing fee is payable by the applicant.

The bond must be registered and remain in the name of the applicant from the date of first issue.

An administrative fee of US $30,000 is payable by the applicant once the application for citizenship has been granted. Thereafter the qualifying investment sum for this special bond option is payable as follows:

Sole applicant (five-year holding bond):  US$250,000

Applicant applying with 1 qualifying dependent (six-year holding bond): US$250,000

Applicant applying with up to 4 qualifying dependents (seven-year holding bond): US$250,000

Applicant applying with up to 4 qualifying dependents (five-year holding bond): US$300,000

Each additional qualifying dependent, along with an applicant applying with up to 4 qualifying dependents: US$15,000

Jamaica

Kadion Preston, founder of Caribshopper, has secured significant funding toward its seed round, which the startup expects to close before the end of the year. The investment comes shortly after the marketplace’s Oct. 15 soft launch. After a beta test phase that began in May, Caribshopper is now open to any customer seeking Caribbean-made goods from more than 200 Jamaican merchants on the platform. During its beta phase, over 130 products were sold on the platform, with an average ship time of about three days for U.S. buyers.

Jamaica-based, Delta Capital Partners Ltd. was the funder.  Preston aims to close out the company’s seed round at $2.2 million by Nov. 15, he told the Business Journal. To date, the company has secured $1.55 million in total funding.

“With the funding, we’re able to execute on a lot of plans, including getting the merchants out there with marketing and helping manufacturers in the region,” Preston said. “Our funding comes from the region and speaks to the confidence of where we are in our business cycle.”

Delta Capital Executive Chairman Zachary Harding calls Caribshopper “the Amazon of the Caribbean” and sees a vast market potential for the company, especially as it expands to other islands in the Caribbean.

The platform’s immediate plans include launching in Trinidad and Tobago before Black Friday.

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis officials have temporarily reduced the donation to  The Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), the newest investment channel under St Kitts and Nevis’ CBI Programme, introduced by Prime Minister Timothy Harris, from $195,000 to just $150,000, for a family of up to four. The offer runs through 2020. As of November, 6, 2020, the list of family members qualifying for St. Kitts &Nevis citizenship has been extended to include the investor’s spouse, children, parents, grandparents, and dependent unmarried siblings aged 30 years old or younger, of either the main applicant or their spouse.

Another option to acquire St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship is through a $200,000 Real Estate investment – with a fixed minimum investment regardless of the number of family members.

Guyana

Guyana’s Republic Bank says it has seen a reduction in that profit of over US$100 million or 42 per cent, compared to last year.
According to a statement from the bank’s Chairman, Vincent Pereira, the total profit of US$134.9 million was recorded for the year ended September 30, 2020.

This sum is, however, a 42.8 per cent reduction in the US$235.9 million profit reported last year.
This year’s profit represents a decrease of US$101 million. Pereira cited the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he explained resulted in decreased economic activity, reduced opportunities to charge interest and the fact that the bank would have had to waive fees and commissions under various Government-imposed initiatives.

Dominican Republic

The recent official unveiling of the World Trade Centre Santo Domingo, a major commercial and retail project in the heart of the capital of the Dominican Republic, promises to take the Caribbean island to the next level as an investment destination, says Biz Latin Hub CEO Craig Dempsey.

Announced by the Velutini Group, an influential conglomerate with commercial interests throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, WTC-Santo Domingo is only the fourth iteration of the well-known World Trade Centre brand to be established in the Caribbean, among over 320 WTCs worldwide.

The project will see 28-storey and 19-storey business centres built beside each other, and will encompass the Velutini Group’s existing Blue Mall Santo Domingo, as well as the JW Marriott Santo Domingo, which is also located in the vicinity.

The project is slated to generate 17,000 jobs, while bolstering tourism and encouraging greater foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country. WTC-Santo Domingo will include hundreds of high-end apartments, a boutique hotel, exhibition and conferencing facilities, and abundant office and retail space. It will also offer a host of exclusive commercial opportunities to its members.

While the project is not due to be completed until 2023, Dominican President Luis Abinader has spoken glowingly about the economic dividends that can soon be expected.

“Next year, a level of investment never seen in the Dominican Republic will arrive, in terms of investment, of development, not only in the tourism sector, but also in logistics, in ports, in infrastructure development of the electricity and hydrocarbons sectors,” said Abinader during an appearance at the unveiling in October.

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