Forging ahead with strength & positivity
As we head full-on into July, it’s heartening to see people and businesses stepping up and embracing proactive, rather than reactive, responses to the realities of Covid-19. Every day, our inboxes are filled with media releases sharing positive news of how countries around the world, and closer to home here in the Caribbean region, are adapting and innovating. These turbulent times have become a wakeup call for change, for a shift of attitudes, and empowering teams and individuals to put their ideas forward.
Reopening, whether after devastating storms or a global health crisis, comes with a unique set of challenges for every person in every community, company, industry, and government. Nothing is off the table when it comes to visioning and positioning for the future. As you’ll discover in this issue of Business View Caribbean, there are plenty of opportunities for transition and, yes, growth, if we’re open to pivoting in different directions. Our cover story is a prime example. For almost half a century, F&R Construction Group, Inc. has been building a legacy of excellence – contributing to the reshaping of Puerto Rico’s modern skyline, and now focusing on constructing and repairing homes in communities hard hit by Hurricane Maria.
In the midst of a pandemic, the global reliance on communication has reached the critical point and digital solutions are becoming the saving grace. We reached out to the experts at Rock Solid Technologies, a software engineering company based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to learn how they’re helping GovTech switch to online services for the public sector, and educating businesses in the implementation of secure, cloud-based strategies.
Another tech leader, Isratech Jamaica Limited is fiercely protective of its reputation as a pioneering powerhouse in the region. Drawing on decades of experience, IJL is continually expanding and keeping abreast of the latest technology to provide solutions in the environment, agriculture, water and alternative energy sectors – to better the lives of everyone.
There is also exciting news to report on the entrepreneurial scene: the first Creative Hub in Jamaica will open its doors on July 27 in Downtown Kingston at the old Swiss Stores Building on Harbour St. This colorful, inspiring venue features a restaurant, wine bar, retail and gallery space downstairs, while upstairs is the new Hub space – a partnership between the Hub Coworking Ltd and arts and culture charity, Kingston Creative.
Early in February, recognizing the severe negative impact which COVID-19 could have on the economies of the region, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) started working on COVID-19 preventative and education initiatives. This led to the formalization of the COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force a month later between the CARPHA, CTO and CHTA, and later joined by the Jamaica-based Global Tourism Resiliency and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECSC). The task force will play an essential role, as the future of travel unfolds.
While great uncertainty continues, Airbnb booking data shows that travel is beginning to bounce back in recovering countries. To further strengthen recovery efforts, the platform is working with local authorities, tourism agencies, and non-profits to promote domestic tourism and economic growth in these destinations. Among the first strategic alliances around the world are Discover Puerto Rico; Bermuda Tourism Authority; and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation.
Collectively, the world has taken baby steps and giant leaps in the recent weeks and months. For that we should all be proud – and cautious. Resiliency will win out, but not without patience. While you’re waiting, we hope this month’s edition of Business View Caribbean brings some welcome entertainment and insight.
Please continue to stay safe, keep the wheels of innovation turning, and above all, be kind to each other.
Lorie Lee Steiner