The Economic Development Commission Tuesday heard presentations from two financial services firms requesting tax benefits. One of the firms at the public hearing had a legal twist.
Jeff Meyer, who moved to the territory this year, said his firm would focus on serving law firms engaged in mass tort lawsuits. He said he had handled many personal injury lawsuits in the law firm that bears his name, but years ago, his firm transformed into an advisory service firm for other firms.
In answer to a question from board member Philip Payne, Meyer said other firms might offer similar services, but he didn’t think anyone was offering the exact same services. He paraphrased Jerry Garcia, “Don’t try to be the best at what you are doing, be the only one who can do what you are doing.”
His company Maritain, a limited liability company, was organized in March. If granted tax incentive benefits, it is committed to employing a minimum of five full-time employees with a minimum capital investment of $100,000.
Sean Conlon, in his presentation on behalf of Conlon and Company USVI, which would be an investment firm or what he referred to as a merchant bank, compared St. Croix to his native Ireland before its economic resurgence. Conlon, who also moved to the territory early this year, said he would like to participate in such a resurgence in the Virgin Islands.
Conlon said he was fired from his first job in the United States — a janitor — after three years. But now, he owns a company with offices in Chicago, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, and Palm Beach. He said he wanted to move the headquarters of all his companies to St. Croix and he was looking at property on Church Street in Christiansted.
No action was taken on those two applications, but later in the morning, two other financial services companies were granted approval for 100 percent of the Economic Development Commission tax incentives for 20 years. The two firms — Capture VI and Octavia Consulting Group — gave their presentations at a September hearing.
The Economic Development Bank also met Tuesday morning and approved a $200,000 loan for Apotheek on St. Croix. The loan was contingent on a background check and an inspection of the premises.
As a final note, the Economic Development Authority approved a second extension of time for Silent Drift to complete its Sustainable Tourism Arts-based Revenue Stream (STARS) project.
The STARS project is to advertise and promote the territory as an ideal location for film productions and music/audio recording projects.