Like many Virgin Islanders, I remember the days when St. Croix’s economy was thriving with opportunities and revenue from Amerada Hess, Harvey Alumina, pharmaceutical and watch manufacturers. Recognizing the importance of industrial development to the economy, Gov. Alexander Farrelly declared it a priority in 1988. In the 32 years since Gov. Farrelly’s initiative and the 31 years since Hurricane Hugo devastated St. Croix, we have tried to find the formula to our economic revival, never fully achieving the diversification that is critical to our sustainability. Today, I am confident that the path to St. Croix’s economic development must include the South Shore. In fact, St. Croix is poised for a renaissance, with the introduction of Bill 33-0299 that would create a South Shore Enterprise Zone.
Enterprise Zones are not new to the Virgin Islands. To date, four areas — the towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted on St. Croix and Savan (Down Street) and Garden Street (Upstreet) on St. Thomas — have been designated as enterprise zones to encourage investment by offering incentives.