Candidates Forum – George Town West
The event is finished.
- Mar 31 2021
- 7:15 pm - 9:30 pm
Latest reopening updates
The national pension holiday comes to an end on 30 September 2022. Employers, employees and self-employed persons will once again resume mandatory pension contributions as required by the National Pension Act (2012 Revision). The deduction of pension contributions resumes on 1 October 2022 and the payment of the mandatory 10% pension contributions is due by the 15th of November and thereafter every month going forward. Pursuant to an Order, Cabinet exercised its powers by virtue of section 3 definition of “year’s maximum pensionable earnings”, and issued a new Order, to expressly indicate that the maximum pensionable earnings for the remaining 3 month period of 2022, be on a pro-rated basis. The proportioned figure is CI$21,750, which represents twenty-five (25%) of $87,000, the maximum pensionable earnings for an entire year. Deputy Director of Pensions, Amy Wolliston says “The National Pensions (Maximum Pensionable Earnings) Order, 2022 has been approved by Cabinet in order to provide clarity for the working population and their employers on the amount for which pension contributions are due for the remainder of 2022. Furthermore, employees and employers are reminded that any contributions paid during the pension holiday were considered voluntary and are not included in the 2022 earnings maximum.” Contact DLP@gov.ky or call 945-8960 with queries or further information. Issued by: Department of Labour and Pension (CIG)
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has agreed to acquire Junior Achievement (JA) from the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and Rotary Centrals. The transfer will take place over a two-year transition period, which will see continued collaboration between the Chamber and Rotary clubs. JA Cayman was introduced to the Cayman Islands by Rotary Central in 1991, and the Chamber became a strategic partner in 1997. It is part of a worldwide programme which prepares young people for employment and entrepreneurship, inspiring them to succeed through high school-based educational programmes focusing on business, economics and free enterprise. Following the new agreement, the Chamber will assume administration of the programme and will recruit a full-time JA Programme Director who will be responsible for re-establishing the programme in public and private school. The Chamber will also provide office facilities at the Chamber’s Governor’s Square location and will assist the JA Programme Director with fundraising activities. Rotary will continue to provide funding until the end of the two-year transition. Photo (L-R): Signatories to the agreement between the Chamber of Commerce, The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, and Rotary Central.
Grant Thornton Cayman Islands is delighted to announce their new partnership with the Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club, becoming title sponsor of the Cayman Gaelic Football National Teams. These include the Cayman Islands Men’s A, Men’s B, and Women’s Gaelic Football teams. “The club is excited to welcome Grant Thornton as a partner of the club, and title sponsor of the National Teams,” says Cathal McGrath, Chairman of the Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club. “They recognize the positive impact the sport has on our local community, and we are excited to see the growth of Gaelic Football on island and in tournaments abroad.” With the inaugural match played at the Cayman Islands Rugby Club in 1987, the club has had a significant impact on our local sporting community as part of the global Gaelic Athletic Association (“GAA”). With over 550 members, and growing, the club aims to make Gaelic Football more accessible to the masses and to revive and nurture traditional Irish sport in the Cayman Islands. “We are delighted to partner with the Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club and support our local athletes,” says Dara Keogh, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Cayman Islands. “In the recent USGAA Finals, the men’s and women’s National Teams played well, among them members of the Grant Thornton team.” The USGAA Finals took place on 19-21 August in Chicago and all National Teams participated. The Cayman Islands Women’s team lost their Friday match to a strong Delaware County Gaels team 5-07 to 1-05. The Cayman Islands Men’s A team won the Junior Shield Final by 4-03 to 1-03 against Miltown Gaels and the Cayman Islands Men’s B team, comprised almost entirely of non-Irish players, won their first match, and lost their semi-final match to the Delaware County Gaels B 4-09 to 3-02. Most players on the teams made their National Team debuts at the recent tournament and eagerly anticipate their next opportunity to represent the Cayman Islands abroad, culminating in the August 2023 USGAA Finals. Issued by: Grant Thorton Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants leaders lauded 40 young Caymanians who reached academic milestones in their respective accounting careers during the 14th-annual CIIPA Awards Gala Saturday night (24 Sept.) at the Kimpton Seafire Resort. Three special awards were also presented, with Claire O’Dea picking up the Rising Star Award, Stuart Broad the Outstanding Member Award and Charles Bolland the Pioneer Award. “This has been an unprecedented couple of years,” CIIPA Chief Executive Officer Sheree Ebanks said. “Due to the pandemic, we postponed both the 2020 and 2021 events, so we have played catch up this year, [this] being our second gala [of 2022]. This, in and of itself, is no small feat. What is, however, encouraging to me is we’ve recognized more than 80 Caymanians for their academic achievements. So congratulations to all of you, we know how tough these few years have been.” “I feel a sense of security about the future of the profession in the Cayman Islands,” CIIPA President Rennie Khan told the audience. “Honourees, the formula for success is already hard wired in you. … I remind you to be mindful of your environment. Strive for continuous learning — not only from academia but from life lessons — focus on your commitment as your process gets you to your goal and always double down on yourself.” During the evening, Ebanks also recapped some of CIIPA’s achievements throughout the year, including its work as Cayman’s anti-money laundering regulator for the accounting industry, its planned 2023 launch of a joint examination scheme with the ACCA and its progress in the ESG space, including a recent webinar CIIPA co-hosted with Rewired Earth as part of Climate Week NYC. Click here to view the gala in full. Issued by: Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants’ (CIIPA)
Economic activity in the Cayman Islands, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms, is estimated to have increased by 3.8% in the first three months of 2022. Indicators suggest that the growth in economic activity was broad-based and largely driven by growth in tourism and transport-related sectors. The hotels and restaurants sector had an estimated growth of 27.8 percent, while transport and communication expanded by an estimated 14.3 percent. The ‘other services’ sector also showed a notable expansion of 9.1 percent. The financing and insurance services sector, which remains the largest contributor to GDP, grew by an estimated 2.5% for the quarter. Despite rising price pressures, robust demand both locally and internationally continues to spur economic activities in the Islands. The central government recorded an overall surplus of CI$215.9 million in the first three months of the year. This resulted from revenue of $446.9 million and expenditure of $231.0 million. The central government’s outstanding debt fell anew and settled at $218.0 million as at March 2022, lower than the $243.9 million recorded as at March 2021. For more information on the “The Cayman Islands’ First Quarter Economic Report 2022,” please visit www.eso.ky. Issued by: Economic and Statistics Office (ESO)
Recovery Month is observed every September to raise awareness about substance use treatment and to celebrate the gains of people in recovery. The Cayman Islands Government is holding a series of events throughout September to highlight the services available and to destigmatize the process of recovery. Every month is recovery month at The Bridge Foundation and Beacon Farms, sister organisations offering a continuum of care to Caymanians recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. The Bridge Foundation is a halfway house offering safe, secure and supervised accommodation, while Beacon Farms offers jobs in agriculture to Caymanians rebuilding their lives after addiction. “We provide the support, structure and skills people need to restore their confidence and rejoin the community,” says Bud Volinsky, Executive Director at The Bridge Foundation and board director at Beacon Farms. “Sober living is not easy amongst the distractions and triggers of daily life. Our mission is to ease the transition back to a healthy and productive life as responsible members of society.” Established in 2012, The Bridge Foundation has the capacity to support up to 12 residents at Anchor House in West Bay. Residents are typically referred after completing treatment at Caribbean Haven, or by Probation Services or the Drug courts, and are required to attend 12-step meetings during their 6-month stay. “One of the greatest challenges for people in recovery is finding gainful employment, especially in a small community when their past history of addiction may be widely known,” says Volinksy who received a British Empire Medal this year for the positive impact of his work in the Cayman Islands community. “This was the inspiration behind Beacon Farms which offers people the chance to learn new skills and earn wages in a safe, sober environment.” While many Beacon Farms employees continue to reside at Anchor House, there is also an option to live on site in the property’s original farmhouse, set on 34-acres in North Side. Jobs on the farm range from planting and harvesting crops, to equipment operation and maintenance. Sasha Appleby joined Beacon Farms three years ago and is now their administrative manager and science officer. She is proud of the encouragement and opportunities the programme gives to people wanting to turn their lives around. “We are doing our small part to help recovering addicts become useful, trustworthy people who can hold their heads up in public without shame,” she said. “It’s not always easy working with recovering addicts, but being in recovery myself, I appreciate the opportunity I was given and would like to see others have that chance as well. “Beacon Farms does not have to be the final stop for our employees. We hope that those who have other interests and goals will find the employment that truly satisfies them. However, this requires other businesses to take a chance on them. I hope that sometime soon, the stigma attached to those in recovery lessens and we can openly deal with this disease in a more compassionate way.” The continuum of care provided by The Bridge Foundation and Beacon Farms has a positive impact not just on the lives of individuals in the programme, but on the wider community too as it helps reduce recidivism. The chance of a relapse and negative behaviour associated with substance abuse is much lower with the support provided by transitional housing and employment. Originated as part of the National Security Council’s crime reduction strategy, The Bridge Foundation is partly funded by the Cayman Islands Government. Both The Bridge and Beacon Farms are registered non-profit organisations initially established with generous support from The Haugh Foundation. Both are seeking additional financial support from the community to continue the valuable work they are doing changing lives for the better. To make a donation, please visit https://www.beaconfarmscayman.org/ or https://www.thebridgefoundationcayman.org/. Issued by: Beacon Farms
Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC) and technology group Wärtsilä have signed an agreement, which will result in Wärtsilä supplying two 10 megawatt (MW)/10 megawatt hour (MWh) energy storage systems to CUC. This project, which will be CUC’s first energy storage facility, will enable the Company toapproximately double its renewable energy capacity on Grand Cayman. The energy storage facilities will allow CUC to operate its generating facilities in a more efficient manner reducing fuel costs to electricity consumers. Additionally, the energy storage will facilitate up to a total of 29 MW of distributed customer-sited renewable energy resources without detrimental effects on its grid. Like with many island grids, CUC’s power system is isolated from other power systems and it is susceptible to unplanned changes in generation output. Until now, the network connected electricity generation sources on Grand Cayman comprised 161 MW of diesel-fueled generation and approximately 14 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation. Vice President Customer Services & Technology, Sacha Tibbetts says, “We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to establish our first energy storage system. This represents a crucial step for CUC to integrate more renewable energy with the grid. Once this project is completed we also anticipate savings on fuel costs and improved reliability of services for our customers.” The energy storage systems will be connected to the Hydesville (West Bay) and Prospect Substations and will provide extensive power system optimisation capabilities – from spinning reserve capacity to improved frequency response, to enhanced grid stability. This project will also result in savings on fuel costs. These savings will be passed on to the customers. “Energy storage has proven to be a game changer for our numerous island-based customers in the Caribbean and beyond to simultaneously lower energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy consumption, and improve grid reliability,” said Jon Rodriguez, Director, Engine Power Plants, Wärtsilä Energy in North America. “Wärtsilä provides industry-leading solutions that empower islanded grid operators to optimise and modernise their energy systems, and we are happy to assist CUC along this path.” Each facility will include Wärtsilä’s GridSolv Quantum, a fully integrated, modular and compact energy storage system, as well as the GEMS Digital Energy Platform, Wärtsilä’s sophisticated energy management system. The systems will be delivered under an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractand are expected to become operational in late 2023. Issued by: Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (CUC)
The Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association (CIMPA) is set to host its ninth annual conference on October 6th and 7th at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. This year’s theme will explore the question “How can marketing make the world a better place?”. The two-day event will bring together Cayman’s marketing community and a host of international speakers, for insightful speaker sessions, interactive workshops, networking opportunities and more. “We’ll be looking at marketing strategies and techniques that can help us all make a difference, as well as hearing from leading industry experts on how they are paving the way. Topics will include sustainability, diversity and inclusion, purpose driven brands, behaviour change marketing, storytelling strategies and the future of digital. I can’t wait to see how our local marketers will take away what they have learned and put it into action to make an impact in our own community.” Ms Natalie Porter, CIMPA Chair, said. The conference will kick-off on Thursday 6 October with a day of educational workshops designed to help local marketers make their campaigns resonate with audiences that much more, by delivering the right message to the right customer, at the optimal time and on the best platform. “Our interactive workshops will give attendees a deep dive into sustainable marketing, creating inclusive campaigns and crafting marketing strategies to change behaviours.” Ms Porter said. The main conference day, Friday 7 October, will feature a full day of presentations from a well-credentialed line-up of international speakers who will each share breakthrough ideas in their own fields of expertise and address the topic of marketing for, and with, purpose. The agenda has been carefully curated to provide local marketers with the best insights and ideas from experts and innovators across a broad spectrum of industries, from corporate marketing and agency insights to entrepreneurship and creative direction. Notable speakers include Christopher Neff, Global Head of Emerging Experience & Technology at Anomaly, who will be diving into the future of digital with an introduction to Web 3.0 and the metaverse; Gemma Butler, Podcast Host, Author and former Director of Marketing at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, who will be discussing sustainable marketing and the importance of leading with purpose; and Sara Isaac, Principal and Director of Strategy at Marketing for Change co, who will lead a workshop on behavior change marketing and planning strategic campaigns to influence positive behaviours. The main conference day will close with keynote speaker Jasmine Crowe-Houston, Founder & CEO at Goodr, who will sit down for a ‘fireside chat’ with host Danielle Watler, to share her entrepreneurship journey and why she was inspired to establish her own purpose-driven brand, offering a variety of hunger relief and food waste solutions to help those in need. “Our aim is for attendees to walk away from this year’s conference not just inspired, but with the tactics, tools, and expert advice, they need to fuel their own marketing efforts, grow their businesses and make a positive change at the same time.” Ms Porter said. “Marketing is an ever-evolving industry and there is always something new to learn. But it’s no longer just about profits. It’s time to bring purpose into that equation too.” Interested parties can find out more and purchase tickets for the conference and workshops online now at www.cimpa.ky/conference. Issued by: Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association (CIMPA)
Grant Thornton Cayman Islands, a global accountancy, tax, and advisory firm, is delighted to announce its continued growth in the Cayman Islands with the appointment of three Audit Directors to their growing Asset Management team. Joining the firm in 2019, Claire O’Dea was recently promoted to Audit Director further to the successful obtainment of her Practitioner License from the Cayman Islands Institute of Professionals Accountants (“CIIPA”). She has become an integral member of the Asset Management team and leads in the delivery of client audits. Claire recently received the well-deserved Rising Star Award at the CIIPA Awards Gala and with a passion for mentoring and nurturing local talent, is a project lead for the Grant Thornton Graduate Programme. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, she worked at a Big-4 firm in the Cayman Islands and United States, and is a qualified Certified Public Accountant. Stephen Anderson also joins the organisation as Audit Director. He is responsible for the delivery of audit and other assurance services to clients in the financial services sector as part of the Asset Management team. Relocating from the US, Stephen holds a BSc and MSc in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. He has spent the majority of his career working at a Big-4 firm, with experience in a number of jurisdictions, including New York and Dublin. Mohammad Hayat also joins the firm as Audit Director on the Asset Management team, responsible for the delivery of audit and other assurance services. He is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) and an Associate Chartered Accountant (Pakistan). Mohammad has spent most of his career working at a Big-4 firm, with experience in private equity, real estate, hedge and mutual funds, and asset managers. He has worked in several jurisdictions, including the United States and Middle East. “We are delighted to welcome two new industry experts to our team, and to see Claire continue to grow within our firm,” says Greg O’Driscoll, Partner and Head of Asset Management and Business Development at Grant Thornton Cayman Islands. “We have seen significant growth in our Asset Management practice over the past five years and the appointments of Stephen, Mohammad and Claire further enables us to reach our ambitious growth goals.” The new appointments maintain the firm’s stronghold as the islands fastest growing professional services firm, proud to recognise high-performing talent. Issued by: Grant Thornton Cayman Islands
Good day, Cayman. It has been only one day since the Cayman Islands National Emergency Operations Centre issued the “all clear” on the passing of Hurricane Ian. To which, I am pleased to say that our islands suffered only minimal damage. As Minister of Tourism and Transport, I am relieved and proud to note that our destination is in a position to get back up and running very quickly. Especially as we observe today as World Tourism Day, this is a testament to the resilience of our people. My colleagues in the PACT government and I, as well as all tourism industry stakeholders are left contemplating the blessings we have received. It is not lost on me however, that there are many others now in the path of a serious storm threat and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Cuba and Florida as they ride out the passage of this major hurricane. Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has observed the 27th of September as World Tourism Day. This year’s theme is “Rethinking Tourism” which is just what my team at the Ministry and the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism are working hard to do. Over the past two and a half years, the important role tourism plays in our overall society has been made abundantly clear. Whether or not persons are employed within the travel industry or in tourism-related jobs, we have all gained a renewed understanding of the significance of the tourism industry in one way or another. We are continuously looking for ways to ensure our islands remain one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world. By working closely with our tourism partners we are on our way to developing a renewed and revitalized Cayman Islands tourism industry. Similarly, as one of the last countries to lift COVID restrictions, the Cayman Islands is aligned with the mindset of many of our regional counterparts, in making it easier for visitors to travel to the Caribbean on a whole. In my new role as Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, I am focused on supporting our membership as we all work toward rebuilding of the tourism sector within the region. At the recent Caribbean Aviation Day conference, my colleagues and I discussed the challenges the Caribbean islands face with air transport and connectivity, seeking to identify solutions to these issues. The goal of discussions with stakeholders in the aviation industry, is to strengthen existing travel channels and to capitalise on new partnerships which benefit the Cayman Islands and the wider Caribbean. By “Rethinking Tourism” in the Cayman Islands, we are actively pursuing new ways to ensure more Caymanians benefit from the industry through job creation and training, while balancing our growth with sustainable practices. I encourage all Caymanians to take advantage of the educational opportunities available. This training can empower persons to enter the hospitality field or continue personal professional growth within the industry. In closing, I welcome our valued visitors back to our shores. I look forward to them interacting with our people, experiencing the natural beauty of our three islands and learning about our culture and heritage. All of which make up our unique destination – the Cayman Islands. To our amazing tourism workers and everyone currently visiting us, happy World Tourism Day, and may God bless you all. Issued by: Cayman Islands Government (CIG)