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EDC Toll and Treasury Rules Not in Yet

Jan. 25, 2005 – With no final word from the U.S. Treasury Department yet on the rules and regulations they must create under the recently enacted American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, several Economic Development Commission beneficiaries – in particular the financial services companies – have been left on shaky ground.
Some companies are still waiting to make final decisions, while several have already given notice that they will close their doors.
Edward Miller, Atlantic Capital partner and manager, said Tuesday the Jobs bill has negatively impacted his financial services company.
"Since the bill was enacted, two of our partners have left," Miller said, adding that the company has only three partners now.
Miller said the former partners left because of the requirements of the bill, which includes a 183-day residency requirement.
Miller would not say whether his company would continue doing business in the territory or whether he, as others have done or are doing, will leave.
On Tuesday, Labor Commissioner Cecil Benjamin told the Source that four companies have given him notice they would close their doors, three of which are located on the island of St. Croix.
The companies are Belgravia Partnership on St. Thomas, and Bluewater Management, Cambridge Management Group and NASCO Corporate Finance Consultants on St. Croix.
Benjamin said International Asset Management on St. Croix also indicated there would be layoffs.
"I feel that there will be more companies sending us notice that they will be closing down," Benjamin said, adding, "We're making some serious efforts to bring down businesses and getting them to work with us."
Benjamin made mention of Anodyne, the medical manufacturing company that has decided to launch its company on St. Croix. (See "Anodyne Medical Looking for Space, Workers").
Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, in his capacity as acting governor, also signed six new companies in January, according to a release sent from his office Tuesday.
"Despite the recent challenges to the EDC program, applications are still in the pipeline," Richards was quoted as saying. "The recent signing of six new companies during the month of January 2005 is evidence that the EDC Program and the incentives offered are indeed attractive to investors who see doing business in the Territory as viable and beneficial."
Richards did not specify the names of the companies in his release but said they include businesses from the manufacturing of airlift system components to management, investment and marketing for European and Asian clients and businesses in the technology arena.
"Particularly worth mentioning is the establishment of an eco-tourism hotel/guesthouse in Concordia on St. Croix," Richards said.
Benjamin said the Labor Department would continue to partner with the EDC companies, businesses in the private sector and other governmental agencies, including the Economic Development Authority, to insure that new jobs are created for residents, particularly on the island of St. Croix.
He added the department would continue its efforts in training the workforce.
"We're reaching out to companies out there and making sure they stay and receive the benefits they need," Benjamin said.

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