On Thursday, August 26 at 6 pm sharp, the SBA will hold its Annual General Meeting and election of the Board. All members of the SBA are invited to attend and postulate themselves for a position on the
board if they so wish.
The past year has been a tumultuous one, especially because of the pandemic that is still holding the whole world in its grip. The current SBA board has met at least twice monthly to address issues that aroused from the pandemic and the direct impact it has on the economic situation on the island. As a representative of the business community, the SBA has had numerous meetings with the Executive Council, Island Council, Chamber of Commerce, IND, RCN, etc. to address all issues at hand.
The first order of business after last year’s election was a survey that was conducted by the SBA to put the economic grievances in perspective. It quickly became very clear that the majority of businesses on Saba had a decrease in turnover of 76 to 100%. Both the local government and the Dutch Government were inundated with cries for help from the SBA. We are certain that this, together with the cries for
help from the local government, contributed to the prolonged and continuing financial aid granted to the island. As mentioned, many meetings have been taken place since last year July. Just to name a few:
- Banking situation on the island: We are all aware of the consequences of having only 1 bank on the island. Issues were addressed to then State Secretary Knops as well as by both the Island and Executive Councils during their last trip in The Netherlands. This resulted in the assignment of an intern to write a report to the Dutch Gov. regarding the banking situation. The SBA is hopeful that a solution will be finalized soon as discussions are still ongoing.
- Postal issues: the SBA has been hammering on a postal code for the islands, an issue that has been addressed by the Executive Council during their last trip to The Netherlands as well. Although we know that a solution to this issue is being worked on, we are still waiting for a response which has to come from The Netherlands
- IND: The unacceptable situation of long waiting times for issuance of work permits and the tedious process of re-submitting work permit requests were amongst the issues discussed with the IND. We are still waiting on a response on how the IND will simplify their processes
- The Executive Council commissioned a short-term Tourism Marketing Plan which resulted in FB ads and ads in U.S. magazines to welcome (back) tourists to Saba – the safest destination. The SBA held numerous meetings with Jarno Kniff, who wrote and implemented the marketing plan.
Furthermore, the SBA has launched its website www.sbasaba.com which will be updated with current information on a regular basis.
We welcome all members and prospective members to the meeting this Thursday.
Saba Business Association