USVIHTA Update | December 2020
Today is the Last Day to Take the Association Health Plan Surveys - If Your Business Has Employees, Your Feedback is Critical!
Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. shared his concern regarding the number of persons who do not have access to private health insurance. He is exploring Association Health Plans to allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together to obtain health insurance coverage as if they were a single large employer.
The Office of the Governor is conducting a survey of Virgin Islands residents to better understand how to improve access to affordable health insurance. Please take a few moments to answer the following questions about health insurance coverage. 

The APH Survey should be completed by all association members and their employees. The AHP Employer Survey is only for those business owners who have employees. The deadline to complete the surveys is Dec. 18. Click the links below to begin.

USVI Shines in Blue Flag Best Practice Competition 2020
The Blue Flag International Jury meeting in October was also the occasion to select the winners of the Blue Flag Best Practice Competition. The competition was created to highlight the best examples of environmental protection practices implemented by Blue Flag sites around the world.

The theme of the 2020 competition was pollution, and the International Jury had to choose between many excellent best practices submitted by Blue Flag sites.

For the second-place, the International Jury has selected the watershed education outreach on the U.S Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands Conservation Society spearheaded a 2-year watershed assessment for the Smith Bay/Water Bay area in St. Thomas. Upon completion of the analysis, Blue Flag USVI created an informational brochure and coordinated numerous coastal clean-ups (on land and in water), to educate participants on the impacts of pollution in watersheds and their possible contributions to help protect those watersheds. Read More.
U.S. Virgin Islands Named Caribbean Destination of the Year
The U.S. Virgin Islands has received the “Destination of the Year” award from Caribbean Journal, a leading digital travel news publication. The USVI captured the top spot in the 7th edition of the “Caribbean Travel Awards,” while The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas was named “Caribbean Hotel of the Year.” The luxury resort, which reopened in November 2019 following a period of extensive enhancements after the 2017 hurricanes, was recognized for its continued high level of service despite the challenges presented by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It was also lauded by Caribbean Journal's editors for “setting a new standard for health, safety and Caribbean hospitality in the process.” Read more.

More local and regional news:
This Small Business Year Has Come to an End - Here's What's to Come!
Talk about a fresh start! The VI SBDC District offices have changed location. Both offices are equipped with training rooms and private offices for counseling appointments. Our St. Croix office can be found at Perter's Rest, Suite 4 (next to T-Mobile). More recently, the St. Thomas/St. John office moved near the University Campus in the former West Bay Supermarket and Census 2020 building. Stay tuned for Grand Opening details. Until then, we work remotely and will resume operations starting Jan. 4, 2021 at the end of holiday recess. Read more.
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Lisa Hamilton 
USVIHTA President