FRIDAY, MAY 11: One of the core themes of the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency (EEZA) is to empower the many businesses and residents located within designated Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs).
North East Hamilton was the first EEZ receiving its designation in 2007.
For the last four years we have helped our business owners and residents work towards achieving their financial and economic goals.
Additionally, we are pleased that larger businesses like Digicel and People’s Pharmacy have chosen to make the North East Hamilton EEZ their home.
There have been many success stories in North East Hamilton.
Specifically, we have provided hundreds of businesses with advice and financial assistance. We have created products, like the EEZ loan and grant programme through which thousands of dollars have been extended to help facilitate new and develop existing business. Currently, there are a variety of incentives available to assist businesses within the North East Hamilton EEZ, such as reduced payroll tax, customs duty deferment, and preferential lending rates.
One of the more exciting products developed for the North East Hamiltion EEZ is the Preferential Lending Rates programme.
Both HSBC Bermuda and Butterfield Bank have committed $40 million dollars to support entrepreneurial commercial and developmental projects in North East Hamilton by providing qualified businesses with preferential interest rates.
These financial tools are only available to businesses that meet the criteria within the EEZ, and if successful the business must remain within the EEZ for the life of the loan.
If the business relocates out of the EEZ over this period they would now be subject to standard interest rates.
The purpose of the Preferential Loan Programme is to assist small businesses with working capital financing. The loans are available and can be used for items such as:
- Seasonal inventory
- Short–term business loans
- Condominium development
- Commercial business loans
- Residential loans
The North East Hamilton EEZ is dedicated to celebrating community stalwarts as they are integral to the success of this area.
We recognize that many business owners have acted as an anchor to the community for years.
Many business owners in the North East Hamilton are second and third generation entrepreneurs, thus their legacy has been passed from generation to generation.
Since 2008 we have honoured many community heroes and legacy entrepreneurs at our For the People celebrations.
Some past honourees include, Artie Black, the Rev Ronald Smith, and the Clarke and Augustus families to name a few.
Additionally, we have celebrated the graduates of the Youth on the Move – Administrative Training Programme which prepares young people in the community with the administrative skills needed for them to secure entry level employment.
The ethos of the EEZ initiative is to work directly with stakeholders — including residents, businesses, the Bermuda Police Service, churches, groups and associations.
Working with our stakeholders allows us to stay focused on our primary goal of empowerment with the ultimate goal of making the North East Hamilton EEZ a vibrant place to live work and play.
At the EEZA, we are available to assist you with navigating the process of starting and running a business in the EEZ and to provide business advice that will support you in achieving your business and financial goals.
For additional information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 296-4EEZ (339).
In addition, visit www.bedc.bm for more information on the range of services available to all businesses within the North East Hamilton EEZ. Roxanne Christopher is the Economic Development Officer for the North East Hamilton EEZ. She uses her practical knowledge and experience as a successful small businesses owner to foster small business growth in the zone. Specifically, Roxanne is responsible for providing business owners in the designated EEZ and surrounding areas with business development advice and loan/grant guarantee assistance.EEZy Does It! is a monthly column presented by the BEDC’s Economic Empowerment Zones Agency (EEZA). Every month, read about entrepreneurship and business opportunities, obtain business management tips, and find out what’s going on in the EEZ business sector.