Brac & Mild

| 17/04/2014
With all the recent ramblings about increasing Cayman Brac’s economy, promoting small businesses, establishing new industries and providing jobs beyond those offered by the government on our little sister, I sat back and thought to myself, ‘how much money does government waste on officials who sit for hours trying to find solutions to problems of which the solutions are normally quite obvious?’

So they’ve tried everything to increase tourism on the quaint little island, and you would be surprised to know how many people actually do travel over; but the island is not as highly marketed as a vacation retreat as Grand Cayman is, so exactly what are they trying to promote? Typically Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are described in a two-page article within one of the Cayman Activity guides. It doesn’t seem like anyone has really taken much time to research, discover and publicize what is actually available to vacationers, but honestly it is really not much more than some good peace and quiet – which many people living in big urban cities would relish anyway.
With no businesses in the Brac buying advert spaces in these magazines, the article is almost like a charity page, one published “just because we have to…”.
So, how exactly canthe economy in Cayman Brac be boosted and jobs be created to encourage a developing population where small business can thrive?
I have toyed with the idea of emailing this suggestion to Mr Moses, but I figured I’d never get an email reply. Ms Julianna attempts to be proactive but this usually expands no further than words, and all my other dear island politicians must surely be busy from a week long LA meeting hosted on the tiny island. Oh yes, that!
I shall be interested to know how much it did cost to have the LA meeting held on the Brac; but considering the many other ways our Government spends the tax payer dollar, I think it was a welcomed event. The rental car companies, accommodation providers and other local business I’m sure would have benefited well from an influx of spending civil servants. I’d much rather see the public money go that route than on more multi-million dollar luxury jail cells.
So, moving past that subject, back to the Brac economy. Why does Grand Caymanflourish with jobs the way it does? It is certainly not only the tourism industry that contributes to this advantage; in fact, I feel that the tourism industry now feeds on the publicity the island receives from the mother of its financial stability, the Financial Industry itself.
What are the primary components of the Grand Cayman Financial Industry? Well, Trusts, Mutual Funds and Incorporations of course! It seems that a move in this direction was made when the General Registry (or better known to financiers as the Registrar of Companies) opened offices at the Brac Government Administrative Building this 2014. But for Financial Service Providers already stationed on Grand Cayman and functioning very well, there must be some incentive provided that would drive Corporate Service Providers in that direction – whether a reduction in fees across the board and one business day turnaround, a service that many corporate clients would appreciate – they really don’t care much what island their Registered Office is as long as it is WITHIN the Cayman Islands.
All in all, I feel that Cayman Brac must foremost concentrate on weaseling its way into becoming a comfortable, functional financial services location; stationing itself as the chosen destination for financial service seekers because of the benefits of a small society, faster turn-around, paperwork not being lost amongst heaps and bundles and a cozy little place for people to go and do business undisturbed (amid the offshore tax scandals, but that’s a viewpoint in itself).
Not sure how long it would take to achieve this, but I can be sure that once Corporate Service providers realize the advantages of working with a much smaller agency, on a smaller island (the result of which can be happier, wealthier clientele due to the abilities of increased customer service, reduced fees and no requirement to pay additional fees for one day turnaround) offices will open, jobs will open, the population will increase and small business can take advantage of this all because they will actually have people to sell to and provide services to.
Grand Cayman had to start somewhere with this all too…
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  1. Anonymous says:

     The PPM Govt should declare Cayman Brac a Special Economic Zone and encourage the developers of  Cayman Enterprise City to locate there;that might work..

    • Anonymous says:

      The better idea would be to cut all subsidies for the Brac, slash public spending there and letter the allegedly famous entrepreneurial skills of Brackers shine through.

      • Anonymous says:

        We already did that with great success on Grand Cayman. There aren’t any of us left back home on the Brac.

  2. Double Bogeyman says:

    The best location for a golf course in all three islands is the Scott quarry at the base of the Bluff’s western slope, especially if it incorporates the slope. Most of the land needed has already been cleared and it is one of the very few sites that includes meaningful elevation changes. Picture hillside houses with views of the ocean and a golf course.

    And the Brac’s future probably leans towards the retired. More so than wetland bush in the middle of Grand Cayman.

    Unless the goal for these development schemes is just to quarry. In which case please disregard.

  3. Soldier Crab says:

    I wonder if the writer has actually tried to access any government services on the Brac.  Other than Lands & Survey and Planning, all of the public access points are screened by thick plexiglass with tiny holes through which you have to shout to make yourself heard. So the whole building gets to know your business.   Not conducive to conducting company registration, even if you actually find someone the other side of the barrier who  understands what you want.

    • MEM says:

      There is not much more to Company Registration than dropping off a big bundle of documents to be stamped and registered, not sure how much private business you'd have to stand there and discuss….

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, all you lack are the lawyers, accountants and fund and trust administrators to create and require the documents.  Apart from that you have everything needed in the Brac.  And by that I mean you have absolutely nothing.

        • MEM says:

          The point of the article is to encourage such persons to open such offices in the Brac to boost the economy, population, jobs and income generated by private companies and investments – this can be done with proper planning, promotion and fee reductions

          • Anonymous says:

            This is the fundamental point that the negative nabobs on this thread are not seeing. George Town went from colonial backwater to offshore player in less than twenty five years. No one realistically envisages the Brac achieving anything like that level of activity but would it hurt to at least put in place a certain level of General Registry capability to see where it might lead? That has to be better a better use of the public purse than pumping endless funds into over the top hurricane shelters and paving private parking lots.

          • Anonymous says:

            Will never happen.  It is just a waste of money.  Quality recruitment would be impossible unless there was a massive "Brac premium" on top of the existing "Cayman premium".

    • Anonymous says:

      Not exactly insurmountable problems. We need to get beyond the “it just can’t be done” mindset.

      It’s like CAL. We already subsidise the national airline. So why not increase the grant and allow it to drop ticket prices from Miami/Tampa to $100 round trip (and like another poster said $50 to the Brac/LC).

      Try it for a year and see if load factors increase. Budget carriers like Southwest and Ryanair seem to do well based on high load factors. And, of course, no more free flights for staff and friends.

      Might work. Might not. We don’t know if we don’t try, but we can’t just keep doing the same thing and expecting miracles.

  4. The Reaper says:

    One of our outer district politicians is fond of saying that the Brac is "only for the newly wed and the nearly dead".

    Perhaps there is something in the latter part. Funeral tourism can help the Brac. All it takes is one funeral per weekend. Hotels booked, cars rented, airline seats occupied etc..

    Govt can create this niche market simply by raising the costs of gravesites on Grand Cayman to reflect their real value based on the expensive sandy ground that our cemeteries usually occupy and reducing the cost of a grave in Cayman Brac to an amount that anyone can afford. Hell, why not just give them away for free.

    The West End Cemetery is as pleasant a final resting place as any in these islands. We just need to get more bodies to visit……



  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you very much for this viewpoint. You make great sense and I hope that your ideas will be embraced.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cut the Brac's duty concessions and charge them the same for all duties, fees etc as GC.  No-one will die from the shock.

    • Truth says:

      Not too hard to see that the brac would have been dead a long time ago if not for the gift of taxpayers money.  What should be done is a quick funeral then let those who can do it without handouts take over.  But that is not the Caymanian way is it?  Give them cake to eat to shut them up.  That's the caymankind way until it all dies.

      • Anonymous says:

        By the same token I suppose we should not have wasted money on roads to North Side and East End. We can’t simply cut the mooring lines and let the Brac drift over the horizon. What we need is a little creativity beyond the previous model of providing excessive government services and infrastructure (because that is nothing more than shoring up politicians’ positions through patronage).

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am delighted to read a sound and purposeful article.  While I'm a Bracker that had to travel, it baffles me why many of us have done extremly well overseas and in GC and yet have not "repaired" our own island and economy.  The island seems to be laden with issues and can be turned around with some great ideas such as this and some execution of the plans.

    Thanks for the article.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    I actually proposed the same thing a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to see limited registry services finally being extended to Cayman Brac.

    A Brac financial services sector can be grown over time (actually with current technology the Brac offshoot should develop fairly rapidly) on the basis of professionals who would prefer to live on a quiet little island. Much the same as came to Grand Cayman back in the 60s and 70s.

    The key to Grand Cayman’s success was the creation of a large professional sector. The same can be achieved in the Brac, albeit on a smaller scale.

    And without blowing up reefs!

    • Anonymous says:

      Proximity drives productivity.  So your plan won't work.  And if outsiders found out about the extension of services to the Brac on a charity mission it would harm the reputation of the overall product.  If Brackers want to work in financial services there are planes leaving daily to Grand Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Three islands, one jurisdiction. Desktop technology simply allows a professional working in the Brac to obtain companies registry and other government financial sector services in real time. Your concerns would be more applicable, say, to carving out special economic incentive zones within a tax haven.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nope. Not when it comes to meetings, connections, marketing, etc.  Proximity means real proximity not virtual proximity.

          • Anonymous says:

            Proximity? Oh you must mean George Town’s proximity to London and New York…..

            • Anonymous says:

              The proximity of offshore workers to offshore workers is a critical selling point for using the services of professionals based in Grand Cayman.  You facetious comment misses the point and shows your ignorance.

              • Anonymous says:

                Yes that is standard marketing bumph. But most types of corporate services can be handled on a keyboard wherever that keyboard happens to be. That incidentally is the greatest threat of all to our financial industry, insofar as the model contemplates a physical presence in Cayman.

                • Anonymous says:

                  So when the financial industry in Cayman is under threat, you want to risk diluting it as effectively a welfare measure?  That makes no sense.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Not at all. I would never suggest anything so silly as a different regime for the Brac. All I am suggesting is providing a level of General Registry/CIMA capacity on the ground and, in fact, most of it could be accessed online. Again, your point would be more relevant to the notion of carving out a special incentive zone on Grand Cayman.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Diluting would exist with the same regime by reason of talent and proximity issues.  Also no decent business would want the brand dilution.

                    • Anonymous says:

                      And how do you feel about carrying on Cayman legal and corporate services from offices in other countries (given your position that no one should be operating outside the confines of George Town)?

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Straw man strikes again!  I hope you are not an attorney because your argumentation is inane.  The "position" in brackets was not reflected in my comments.  Indeed recent attempts to increase the costs of onshore provision of Cayman services has just moved the work into the onshore firms directly.

      • Anonymous says:

        “If Brackers want to work in financial services there are planes leaving daily to Grand Cayman.”

        Well done. You have simultaneously identified and missed the point.

  9. Anonymous says:

    $50 air fair and the brac  would have 100% occupancy that is what they do in the Bahamas

  10. Anonymous says:

    GC  can only become independent when the Queen lets them.Could you imaging how quick things would fall apart.

  11. Cornet says:

    Here are some great suggestion verses clearing a bird sanctuary  with the hopes of boaters will come!

    so sad our current day politicians do not have the foresight as our previous leaders did such as Jim Bodden sir Vassell Johnson and Thomas Jefferson.

    • Fort George Ghost says:

      Jim Bodden would have dug up the pond…….and operated the backhoe.


  12. Slowpoke says:

    That will happen, as soon as GC decides to become independent, and the Brac and LC vote to remain a UK Crown colony.

    History repeats itself…