As you may know, every year the law requires one or two members of the Chamber of Commerce to step down as their term of three years has expired.
By the end of this year my three-year term, while functioning as the Chamber’s chairman, is therefore also to expire. After giving it ample thought, I have decided to make myself available for a new term.
The Chamber has grown since its establishment in 2010 gradually to what it is today. The Commercial Registry, which is the main responsibility of the Chamber, has grown to an up to date registry reflecting all active businesses and organizations established on St. Eustatius and Saba. Requests for excerpts and other documents is dealt with within two working days, although we are often able to provide the service on the same day.
Besides this, independently or in a combined effort with other organizations such as STEBA, the Tourism Development Foundation and the European Union regional COSME program, the Chamber has been quite active the past years in providing information and training courses and workshops for the business community.
To improve the service to the business sector and other organizations, the Chamber recently has secured additional funding. This will allow us to expand the opening hours of the Statia office with an additional three hours. As of January 1, 2017 the office hours will thus be from 9:00am until 4:00pm.
Additional office hours will also enable the Chamber to execute training and workshops in house. For this purpose, our personnel have already followed some train-the-trainer courses in, for instance, Quick Books.
The Chamber is working closely together with the Central Bureau for Statistics. This allows us to supply the business community with increasingly up to date statistics, next to other relevant information, which every business can use to their benefit.
Over a year ago, we have embarked on a project to have the laws governing the Chamber to be amended. We are doing this together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Chamber of Commerce of Bonaire, supported by the Chamber of Curaçao. This is a lengthy process as it needs to pass through both houses of parliament in The Netherlands.
The goal is to have more workable and simpler regulations that fit our specific situation better. It should also result in a better and more favorable fee structure for registered businesses and foundations.
I am willing to make my time and energy available for another three years and request therefore your support. Please come out to vote on December 13 between 9:00am and 12:00pm at the office of the Chamber of Commerce at the L.E. Saddlerweg.
I thank you for your support and the trust you put in me.
Nicolaas (Koos) Sneek