This page provides a general overview of each initiative’s key objectives and status, comprising Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan. A priority list of 31 initiatives has been created, focusing on areas with the highest impact on Bermuda’s medium-term economic growth and employment. The 31 initiatives have been broadly grouped into seven core themes on the website, which were last updated on 22 July 2022.
The July 2022 PMO Update indicates the current status of each initiative based on the information available. The PMO is working with initiative owners and DCI to update the public website with meaningful updates when available.
Theme 1: Economic Diversification
Launch Casino Industry
Government is committed to ensuring a properly regulated gaming industry for Bermuda. Government has advanced its legislation and planning to introduce gaming in Bermuda. The overall goal is to diversify both Bermuda’s economy and tourism product.
The Bermuda Gaming Commission has signed MOUs with gaming regulators in Britain, Ohio and Ontario and is currently awaiting final signatures with the Turks and Caicos Gaming commission. The St Regis Bermuda Resort and the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club have been awarded provisional casino licenses to operate in Bermuda and are at the last stage of a three-stage licensing process and are progressing very well. https://www.bdacasinogaming.com/
Medical Tourism Facility
The Government aims to work with the private sector to construct a medical tourism facility to create jobs and year-round visitors to Bermuda.
The Phase 1 feasibility study report was presented to the Economic Development Committee, highlighting the potential for medical tourism in Bermuda. Phase two of the feasibility study commenced in June 2022, with the results to be presented in Q3 2022.
Vertical Farming Facility
Food security and lowering food costs for Bermuda is a priority of the Government. As such, the goal is to create a Food Cooperative that will support the use of technology, such as vertical farming and aquaponics, to boost domestic food production. One of the first projects to meet this goal will be a large-scale vertical farming facility, partially powered by renewable energy that will produce 35% of Bermuda’s demand for annual leafy vegetables.
The Government, in cooperation with BEDC, has identified a partner for the large-scale vertical farming initiative. Negotiations are well progressed with regard to formalizing the partnership agreement. Potential sites have been identified for the facility with discussions with landlords on the partnership. Under the MOU with the Government, the objectives of this project include economic benefit and wealth creation through Bermudians’ ownership of the farm, knowledge transfer for intensive farming technology, training and employment of Bermudians, food security, and lower food cost.
Online SME Marketplace
An online SME marketplace will allow entrepreneurs easy access to sell their goods and services online without having to deal with costly individual setups, large monthly fees and merchant account complexities.
The online platform, aptly named byBermuda, is a local online marketplace where people come together to sell and buy unique Bermudian products and experiences. It’s a community of local entrepreneurs, highlighting the best of Bermuda’s innovative products and services while allowing connections to consumers both local and beyond Bermuda’s shores. With byBermuda there’s no warehouse – just Bermuda’s entrepreneurs selling the things they love. The BEDC makes the whole process easy, removing the expensive cost and hassle of an online presence for businesses, while helping consumers connect directly with makers to find or experience something extraordinary, through a convenient and central Bermuda-branded hub.
With the desire to improve the business and consumer experience of byBermuda, the BEDC is preparing to launch an enhanced version of the online marketplace in August 2022. A full marketing campaign explaining the site and the benefit to Bermuda’s local SMEs will be deployed alongside this enhanced version.
Residential Developments in Bermuda’s Economic Empowerment Zones
Residential Developments in Bermuda’s Economic Empowerment Zones
The Government aims to support the construction of residential developments in Bermuda’s Economic Empowerment Zones to increase the supply of quality, affordable residential accommodation, driving down rental costs.
The Government seeks to stimulate growth in Bermuda’s economy, and in particular within the Island’s 3 Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs – Northeast Hamilton, Somerset, and St. George’s), by widening the scope of potential investment through providing for the creation and support of Residential Approved Schemes. Notwithstanding the rich histories within these 3 zones, it is evident that additional investment is needed for the areas to reach their full potential economically, physically, and socially. As such, the Residential Approved Scheme initiative provides a mechanism by which the Government, the EEZ stakeholders, and the country can achieve this goal. Restrictions on land ownership have been removed – incentivizing a broadening of potential investments in the EEZs, and in doing so further diversifies the potential demand for residential developments, bringing economic growth to these locations.
The goal is development without displacement with Bermudian EEZ landowners required to be incorporated in every approved scheme. As such, no scheme will be approved if the existing property owner is not involved in the proposed scheme in a tangible and impactful way. Every approved scheme will also create new jobs for Bermudians. For continued investment within the economic empowerment zones, land license fees associated with purchasing of the residential units will go into an EEZ community development and investment fund to assist with investing in the people and the programmes in the Zones.
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation has facilitated legislative amendments to ease restrictions and attract foreign investment to the EEZ. The Economic Development Act 1968; the Bermuda Immigration & Protection Act 1956; and the Companies Act 1981 in 2019 have all been amended to facilitate this and to enable the creation of Approved Residential Schemes. The BEDC has developed an Approved Residential Scheme guidance document which has been presented to the Cabinet and will be publicly promoted through a Ministerial Statement in the House of Assembly by the Minister of Economy and Labour. The guidelines provide a pathway for residential and mixed-use development within the Economic Empowerment Zones. The rollout of a PR and outreach campaign will engage with key stakeholders in the EEZs as well as interested investors. Thus far, 23 development opportunity sites have been identified in the North East Hamilton EEZ, with a similar process to be undertaken for the Somerset and the St. George’s EEZs. BEDC is actively promoting all the EEZs and development opportunities through referrals and connections with the Economic Development Department and the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
National Space Strategy
The Bermuda National Space Strategy 2020-2025 will include the establishment of a ‘space ecosystem’ by 2025 and has the following strategic goals:
- Build Bermuda’s reputation as a responsible, leading jurisdiction for space and satellite-related business;
- Enhance domestic space and satellite-related capabilities;
- Further integrate Bermuda with the international space community; and
- Generate revenue from national orbital allotments, of which Bermuda has four.
As more companies look to space, Bermuda can play an important role.
The Government has developed earth station regulations, which are currently being reviewed. Efforts to attract earth stations are also underway.
Establish Sub-Sea Communications Sector
A sub-sea communications sector will allow Bermuda to position itself as the North Atlantic communications hub and allow the island to reap the benefits of an industry that provides global connectivity and data protection in an increasingly online world.
The legislation framework for this initiative is complete. The Regulatory Authority has posted the application and the requirements on its website. The Business Development Agency has promoted the availability of 3 submarine communication cable licenses. One licence has been granted to Link Bermuda. Discussions are ongoing with carrier companies to service any submarine cables that are laid.
Theme 2: Financial Markets
Lower Interest Rates to Reduce Mortgage Costs
The Government will work to reduce the cost of mortgages by lowering interest rates through measures to increase competition in the banking sector and by working with local banks to provide security for mortgage loans.
Given the significant rise in relevant interest rates as a result of global events, specific focus has been given to lowering BD$ mortgage rates. Considerable work has gone toward developing a mortgage guaranty program to reduce the risk to financial institutions granting mortgages, allowing for lower rates charged to the customer. It is anticipated that, at the very least, a pilot program can be launched in 2022.
BEDC COVID Support to Small and Medium Sized Businesses
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) continues to provide support to SMEs as the country navigates through the post-pandemic economy. Through continued financial support from the Government, BEDC provides a range of products to assist Bermuda’s local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). BEDC’s current financial and concession products for local entrepreneurs to take advantage of are as follows:
- Covid-19 Business Sustainability and Continuity Funding - Combined Micro Loans/Grants
- Pre-Approved Loan Guarantees - Bermuda Credit Union Coop Society
- Loan and Overdraft Guarantees – Financial Institutions
- General Micro loans
- Debt Consolidation Micro Loans
- Sports Club Micro Loans
- New Startups Payroll Tax Relief
- Economic Empowerment Zones Payroll Tax Relief
- Economic Empowerment Zones Customs Duty Deferment
- Retail Goods Customs Duty Deferment Letter of Credit
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation continuously develops timely new financial products and services to meet the needs of Bermuda’s SMEs. Total financial support deployed by BEDC between April 2020 and April 2022 to assist SMEs is comprised of 323 approvals with $5.7M made up of $1.8M in grants; $3M in loans; and $0.9M in guarantees. Funding support continues in the 2022/23 fiscal year.
Bermuda National Digital Bank
The Government is committed to the creation of a Bermuda National Digital Bank with shared available for Bermudian ownership, providing an opportunity for a new generation of investors to create lasting wealth by supporting the next wave of financial services, connecting Bermudians to the global world of digital payments.
A business plan has been developed and is currently under review.
Theme 3: Infrastructure Investment
Water and Waste Treatment Facility
The Government continues to review the current system for handling Water and Wastewater and working with the private sector to facilitate systems that would properly treat sewage waste across the island, including the two Municipalities.
Phase one of this massive undertaking involves trenching much of the main roads in St. George’s and similar work in Southside to completely replace the infrastructure from piping, pumping stations, water producing plants and waste treatment plants to provide relief to the long suffering residents of these areas in providing reliable water and waste water services. This project addresses the country's needs of getting people working, earning and providing for their families while their valuable labour is transforming Bermuda’s infrastructure for the better.
Major trenching works are underway at Southside and in St. George’s to install new potable water and wastewater mains. A detailed workplan has been prepared for the redevelopment of Tynes Bay Industrial Park, including waste to energy and waterworks. A business case is being prepared to detail the investment required and the proposed procurement model. Interim investment projects are underway to ensure continued safe and reliable waste management and plant operations.
The Government, through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), is working to develop a plan for a Fisheries Development Centre (FDC) in partnership with representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Fishermen’s Association of Bermuda (FAB).
Commercial fishing is one of the oldest industries in Bermuda and continues to be an important part of Bermuda’s culture. However, its contribution to the economy has not grown proportionally to Bermuda’s population size or economic growth.
The FDC can be the catalyst that transforms the island’s artisanal commercial fishing industry to the next level, making it profitable for all participants, while improving the island’s food security, through the provision of high quality, sustainably harvested seafood from local resources, and diversification of its economy. The FDC will have the ability to provide a number of products and services for the industry including those related to wholesale; retail; export; by products; and on-site experiences.
The Fisheries Development Centre (FDC) initiative has completed the research phase through the Steering Committee comprised of the Fisherman’s Association of Bermuda (FAB), the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The Business Plan is being finalized for Cabinet’s approval. The Steering Committee has presented the draft Business Plan, the cooperative model, and proposed facility location to the Minister of Economy and Labour, the BEDC Board of Directors, and the broader fisher industry through consultative meetings. The next steps include a draft of concession and incentives for legislative consideration, the planning and development phase for the Fisheries Development Centre based on the Steering Committee’s recommendations of a site, and consideration for measurable impacts to Bermuda’s GDP for increased local consumption and international exports of fisheries products.
Electric Recharging Infrastructure
Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable transportation infrastructure that is safe for the environment. The Ministry of Transport is committed to introducing an electric charging infrastructure. In the first instance, the Government will facilitate the installation of an Electric Bus Charging Facility at the Department of Public Transportation's Fort Langton, Devonshire, Bermuda Facility to support the operations of new electric buses.
A total of 10 electric bus charging stations are operational at the Department of Public Transportation’s Ft. Langton, Dockyard and St. George’s depots. The Ministry of Transportation has also entered into a contract for the construction of 30 dual electric bus charging stations to accommodate a total of 60 buses at the DPT Fort Langton depot, to be commissioned in November 2022.
Increase Affordable Housing
Through continued infrastructure investment, the Ministry of Public Works will increase the stock of affordable housing throughout the country.
The Bermuda Housing Corporation currently has a number of housing initiatives underway; Redevelopment of Ripon Cottage (3 bed/2 bath) is now complete. Salvation Army - Block B is underway and scheduled to complete in July. The refurbishment of 8 studio apartments at Harmony Block B is scheduled for completion in February 2023. Battery Road Lofts - 2 bedroom apartment and 3 studios are awaiting planning permission. Regent House - 4 bedrooms 2 bathrooms are awaiting planning permission.
Uptown Development Authority in North East Hamilton
The Government will complete work to establish the Uptown Development Authority in Northeast Hamilton, whose mission will be to implement the North Hamilton Local Plan, drive residential and economic development projects, and rebrand the area formally as Uptown.
Since the dismantling of the Economic Empowerment Zones Agency in 2014, there has been a noticeable absence of a dedicated body solely focused on driving economic regeneration in Northeast Hamilton. As such, the authority will be a public body established under the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation whose sole remit will be to facilitate the economic, physical, and social development of the Northeast Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone (NEHEEZ).
The effective implementation of a local authority responsible for the NEHEEZ will require a holistic approach which builds on existing efforts to develop Uptown with key community stakeholders as partners. The authority will be a flexible, responsive, and empowered public body with the capacity to carry out a wide array of semi-autonomous functions in order to develop the economic, social, and infrastructural capacity of local residents and business owners within the Northeast Hamilton community.
The Uptown Development Project Team with private sector experts in real estate, development, architecture, design, planning, property valuation, mapping, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been formed since May 2022 to assist BEDC in moving this initiative forward.
Along with the BEDC team, who have been facilitating site visits to the EEZs with developers and investors since 2021, progress connecting opportunity sites with those interested in the zones continues. With the most recent approval of the North Hamilton Local Plan 2022 making it operable, the Project Team will use established EEZ economic development incentives and concessions as well as developing new economic development tools to move development projects forward, including facilitating Approved Residential Schemes and expanding the Economic Empowerment Zone to Southeast Hamilton.
Green Energy Fund
The Department of Energy will create a Green Energy and Environmental Justice Fund, which will encourage local and overseas investors to provide funding for:
- installing solar for residential homes and small businesses;
- additional training to develop solar installers and energy managers;
- the initial investment to entrepreneurs who are looking to enter the renewable installers or energy management business.
The draft policy to support the Green Energy Fund and financing options to accomplish its objectives are currently under review.
Theme 4: Expanding the Resident Population
Economic Investment Certificate (EIC) Program
The Economic Investment Certificate & the Residential Certificate Program encourages and enables high net worth individuals to make substantial economic investments into Bermuda.
The EIC policy was designed to stimulate economic activity, create the environment for job creation, and help market Bermuda as a place to reside and do business. EIC recipients are required to invest a minimum of $2.5 million into the Bermudian economy, and investments may be made in one or more investment categories and benefits for investors include residency rights, among other benefits.
The Economic Investment Certificate and Residential Certificate Policy can be found here.
The Economic Investment Certificate (EIC) has exceeded expectations from inception to date. As of July 11th 2022, the total amount invested was $349.6 million dollars ($349,644,195), since the program was launched on March 1st, 2021. This investment includes over $94 million ($94,180,923) in real estate purchases and over $255 million ($255,463,272) invested into new and existing businesses. Over that period, the investments represent 21 applications being approved, covering 54 persons, including dependents. The pipeline of persons who have registered their expressions of interest in the program is over 41. The total investments in the EIC pipeline exceed $88 million. The Ministry of Economy and Labour in collaboration with the Bermuda Business Development Agency continues to refine the marketing of this program.
The Government of Bermuda has partnered with the Bermuda Business Development Agency to provide a Concierge service for interested and highly qualified individuals. For full information and to register your Expression of Interest, please click here to go to the BDA Website.
Extension of the Temporary Residency Certificate (1-year)
To capitalize on the increasing number of Digital Nomads and students in tertiary education completing their courses online, the One Year Residential Certificate allows persons such the ability to reside in Bermuda while working remotely, and Non-Bermudian Post-Secondary Students the ability to complete their higher education from Bermuda. They will be enjoying life in Bermuda while contributing daily to the local economy.
Since launching the ‘Work from Bermuda’ (WFB) initiative on August 1st, 2020, the Department of Immigration received 1,271 WFB applications, with 1086 approved. Currently, 216 families continue to reside in Bermuda, and as of June 29th 2022, 128 WFB certificate holders were approved for a further one-year extension. This initiative has yielded continued economic activity on the island.
Further Measures to Expand the Resident Population
In its efforts to retain and expand the residential population in Bermuda, the Government increased the maximum period that visitors may stay on the island without further permission from the Minister responsible for Immigration from 90 days to 180 days.
Further, with the implementation of the Repatriation and Mixed Status Families legislation (Bermuda Immigration and Protection Amendment Act 2020) the Government has allowed for persons born overseas to Bermudian parents to be Bermudian from birth as of the effective date of the legislation and moving forward.
Additionally, in March 2021, the Department of Immigration removed the administrative requirement for applicants to produce an Affidavit of Domicile to better facilitate persons born overseas to Bermudian parents to apply for and obtain Bermudian Status.
Additionally, legislation to advance comprehensive immigration reform by providing a process for Long-Term Residents to apply for Permanent Residency in Bermuda was passed in October 2021 and was completed once the Immigration Amendment Act came into force on 1st December 2021. The Government has also released a Position Paper on Long-Term Residents here.
On January 1, 2022, the Department of Immigration began accepting applications for Permanent Resident’s Certificates (PRC) based on the new provisions under the amendments to Section 31 of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956. As of June 2022, the Department had received 125 applications for PRC.
On September 1, 2020, the Repatriation & Mixed Status Families amendments to the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956, came into force. On September 14, 2020 the Department of Immigration began accepting applications for matters covered under the legislation. As of the end of March 2022, the Department had also received 125 applications for PRC and Bermudian Status.
Theme 5: Labour Market and Social Development Measures
National Reemployment (Jobs) Strategy
Phase I of the National Reemployment Strategy occurred from late 2020 to April 1, 2021. The plan was executed and the results reported to the public in Ministerial Statements in the House of Assembly as follows:
- Thirteen (13) new training, career development and employment programmes were successfully delivered.
- Over six hundred and fifty (650) persons participated in the various face-to-face, on-the-job, online, virtual learning, webinars, internships, apprenticeships and trainee programmes.
- Approximately seventy (70) individuals have received part-time or full-time employment due to these training initiatives.
- Since November 2020, the number of unemployed Bermudians that have received employment opportunities through the Department of Workforce Development’s Bermuda Job Board referral process is three hundred and eighty-eight (388).
Phase 2 of the National Reemployment Strategy ran from April 1, 2021 through March 21, 2022. Phase 2 initiatives included:
- Economic Stimulus Programme Jobs Initiative
- Industry-Driven Network Partnerships
- Training and Development Programmes
- Employer and Industry Engagement
Details are found here: https://www.gov.bm/articles/phase-2-training-employment-initiatives
For the period from April 2022, the Department of Workforce Development has continued some of the initiatives under Phase 2 National Reemployment Strategy and has added the following:
- Diversification of Apprenticeship Programmes
- Expansion of Training and Development Programmes
- Personal Employment Plans
- Bermuda Youth Employment Strategy
- National Training Board amendments
- Department Digital Intake Form (Application/Registration
Youth Employment Strategy
The Government will implement a Youth Employment Strategy to meet the identified needs of unemployed persons between the ages of 18 and 26, guide unemployed Bermudian youth back to work, and train them in jobs currently occupied by guest workers. The Youth Employment Strategy will eventually form part of the National Reemployment (Jobs) Strategy and will allow the Government to focus its efforts on this demographic group. Therefore the Youth Employment Strategy is currently being developed separately.
Bermuda’s Youth Employment Strategy was published in June 2022. The Ministerial statement can be found at https://www.gov.bm/articles/national-youth-employment-strategy
The Department of Workforce Development will spearhead the implementation of the National Youth Employment Strategy. A Town Hall Meeting regarding the Youth Employment Strategy was held on June 23, 2022 at St. Paul’s Centennial Hall.
National Unemployment Insurance
The Government, along with a wide range of stakeholders, will consider the main issues in implementing an Unemployment Insurance Plan for Bermuda including issues such as eligibility, contributions, benefit amounts, duration of benefits, funding, administration, staffing, and legal matters. The goal is to develop an Unemployment Insurance Scheme so that critical social protection is provided to support displaced workers and their families, allowing them to receive a basic income in their time of need.
The feedback from a wide range of stakeholders has now been assessed. The Government is therefore evaluating various options to progress this initiative. Discussions have commenced concerning the appropriate funding model, which is seen as fundamental to the type of scheme developed.
Implement Minimum and Living Wages
The public is aware of the challenges facing many hard-working Bermudians who struggling daily to ensure their family’s basic needs are met.
This Government is confident that as we move toward establishing a minimum wage in alignment with a living wage regime, it will improve the lives of many by ensuring that they receive fair and just wages allowing individuals and their families to cover their basic needs.
Generally speaking, a minimum wage refers to a minimum amount an employer is required to pay to persons for their work during a given period, ensuring a minimum threshold for wages across the board. A living wage refers to an amount of minimum hourly pay needed to allow workers and their households to enjoy a “socially acceptable standard of living”.
The Ministry of Economy & Labor is currently reviewing the implementation of a statutory minimum wage that will enhance the lives of those workers considered low-income earners and ensure that all workers have access to a fair and decent wage. The Ministry continues to support the Wage Commission as it concludes its comprehensive review of a living wage for Bermuda.
Cheaper Food Through Financial Assistance
The Government is keen to support start-ups, cooperatives, and market participants who are looking to supply foods at lower prices by partnering with the financial assistance programme to reduce food costs not only to taxpayers but also to the general public.
BEDC is actively working with two fisher and farmer groups on creating businesses that embrace a cooperative business model. Research has been carried out with both industries in this regard. Preliminary discussions have also been had with the Department of Financial Assistance on creating a pathway for these cooperative businesses to partner in reducing food costs.
Theme 6: Healthcare
Universal Health Coverage
Government remains committed to a new integrated healthcare model for Bermuda. This Plan will see public and private sectors joining together to focus on patient-centered care in the delivery of essential health services. This will enable Bermuda to realize efficiencies and value in the health system and drive better healthcare outcomes. By focusing on prevention as well as primary and community care, we will be able to combat the imbalanced reliance on expensive hospital care.
The Steering Committee has expanded to include the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and a representative from IDT. A 'task and finish' working group is set up to develop the National Digital Health Strategy. One of the key stakeholder groups to be set up in the coming weeks is the Clinical Senate, to be led by the CMO. The Senate will begin working on the integrated patient pathways. The Government Employee Health Insurance (GEHI) and Health Insurance Department (HID) will merge once the Terms of Reference are approved.
Reduce Medicine Costs
Government believes that Bermuda must have a holistic healthcare system that prioritizes prevention, chronic disease management and healthcare delivery via primary care, with a restructuring of the health system financing. One immediate step being taken to contain costs for consumers involves establishing a National Drug Formulary. We will mandate that pharmacies provide pricing information on the most commonly-prescribed medications, to feed into the Formulary. This will permit maximum prices to be set for the most frequently prescribed medicines, reducing costs to patients and providing relief to those on fixed incomes.
Legislation has been implemented to allow for the establishment of a National Drug Formulary, designed to ensure the purchase of the best medications at cost effective prices. The Bermuda Health Council using recommendations from the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee will regulate the prices at which common, essential medications along with associated products and devices used in medical treatments are sold to the public thereby reducing the largest out of pocket health expenditure for a large segment of the community.
Theme 7: Regulatory Framework
Energy Regulatory Sandbox
A regulatory sandbox refers to a regulatory environment that allows innovators to test new technologies and business models without some of the red tape and other established barriers often faced by start-ups, innovators, and new entrants to the market.
The Government aims to develop an energy regulatory sandbox that will encourage developers of new renewable energy technology to test their products in Bermuda, giving Bermudians access to new technology.
Legislation to introduce the Energy Regulatory Sandbox has been tabled and passed in the House of Assembly, and the Regulations are being finalized. The first developer, Seabased Limited, is meeting with the Regulatory Authority.
Marine Economic Development Zone
The Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme is a partnership between the Government of Bermuda, the Waitt Institute, and Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). The goal of the Bermuda Ocean Prosperity Programme is to foster the sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable use of ocean resources for present and future generations.
Draft reports have been produced for three industries: (1) Fisheries; (2) Blue Tourism; (3) Renewable energy.
The reports have been circulated to stakeholders for comments. This policy work will inform a Marine Development Act to include a marine spatial plan as well as create a framework to balance development and sustainability.
Drafting and mapping of the Marine Spatial Plan is ongoing.
Economic Empowerment Zone (EEZ) in South East Hamilton
The BEDC has been tasked with establishing new and regenerating existing EEZs across Bermuda. The EEZs are designated geographical areas where special programmes are implemented to close the gaps of economic differences that exist in comparison to other areas in Bermuda. This involves providing economic tools to help local businesses thrive; working with key stakeholders to address local community issues; and engaging external partners to invest in these zones.
Despite being located on Hamilton’s active and beautiful waterfront and bounded by vibrant Front Street, Southeast Hamilton has not enjoyed the same level of economic development and regeneration success as can be found in other nearby geographic areas of the City of Hamilton, such as in Southwest Hamilton and Northwest Hamilton.
Given the focused attention on regenerating Northeast Hamilton with the establishment of the Uptown Development Authority, the implementation of the North Hamilton Local Plan, and the introduction of new economic development tools such as Approved Residential Schemes, the Government believes there is synergistic benefit in creating a new economic empowerment zone in South East Hamilton by extending the existing zone in North East Hamilton. This expansion will result in both a direct physical and economic link between Front Street to North Street, while providing the framework for complementary economic development benefits between the 2 neighboring areas.
Progress is being made on establishing the new SE Hamilton EEZ, which will be contiguous to the Northeast Hamilton EEZ. A project team of BEDC and private sector resources has been formed, and engagement and outreach with the businesses and property owners in the proposed zone are ongoing. The Department of Statistics has provided key socio-economic data, and the Department of Planning has provided the key land use and development data. Two rounds of field surveys from February to March 2022 and May to June 2022 have been deployed within the proposed zone, but the response rate for key information from the area stakeholders has been low. The Department of Statistics has advised the project team on this matter which has resulted in the policy and recommendation report being delayed in order to go back into the field for a third round of surveys from late July to August 2022 to ensure there is sufficient data collected to analyze and make a sound recommendation on the proposed new zone in fall 2022.
Establish Regulatory Regime for Cannabis
The Government is keen to introduce policies that will progressively liberalise Cannabis laws in keeping with public sentiment on the topic and aligning with other jurisdictions on the matter. A proposed policy sets out the framework of what a regulated Cannabis scheme might look like for Bermuda. It has been principally influenced by existing regulated Cannabis laws in other favourable jurisdictions such as Canada and small island nations in the Caribbean.
The Cannabis Licensing Act was tabled and passed in the House of Assembly in March 2022. Her Excellency the Governor reserved giving ascent, and the Government is currently waiting for a reply from the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
In parallel to the ERP, Bermuda will also continue to move forward with planned educational reforms and other social policy measures; assessing possible areas of tax and pension reform; as well as additional government initiatives to support the vibrancy of Bermuda’s international business sector.