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(@a-davis)
Posts: 563
Honorable Member
Topic starter
 

this is a totally self-serving post, but here goes:

when you visit the u.s. virgin islands, please consider supporting local businesses for your lodging, gifts and consumables.

those of us who live here, would appreciate it!

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 3:42 pm
(@blue-island-divers)
Posts: 18
Active Member
 

I concur!!!

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 4:39 pm
(@iamolly)
Posts: 564
Honorable Member
 

Ditto!

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 5:37 pm
(@xislandgirl)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

I completely agree, but for those of use that are STJ junkies, we do not have any options really.

When it comes to lodging, we may have an option but if you decide to stay at Caneel, you are keeping people in their jobs.
If you rent a villa, it is most likely owned by someone in the states, but the upkeep and managment of that villa keeps locals in jobs,
No chain stores or restaurants, so no worries there.
A STJ vacation really is about local business.

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 7:57 pm
(@billr)
Posts: 28
Eminent Member
 

When we visit we always support the Islanders. We will be back on Island time in two weeks.

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 9:19 pm
(@toes-in-the-sand)
Posts: 263
Reputable Member
 

I agree wholeheartedly.

Anita or anyone really, how many of the resturants, grocers and car rentals are locally owned? (espcially StJ) These are the greatest portion of my spending while visiting aside from the airlines and villa rental. I just wish that the majority of my expenses went locally instead to American Airlines or Delta.

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 11:02 pm
(@exit-zero)
Posts: 871
Prominent Member
 

On STJ the restaurants , car agencies and most,maybe all, the groceries are local - Most of the villa rental money will go to a bank in the states to pay a mortgage.
Caneel and the Westin are large corporate entities.
Little Switzerland is owned by Tiffany, for example.
I often ask "Is the owner around today? " when I really want to know who is who.

 
Posted : June 28, 2010 11:12 pm
(@xislandgirl)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

Exit- While I agree, I still think that I am supporting the local economy when I rent a villa. As a former rental manager, I was paid from those dollars as were the gardener, pool maintenance, exteriminator, house cleaner, the hardware store, water delivery, septic company, plumber, etc.

While it may not be owned by a local, renting a villa does provide an income for many locals.

The Westin and Caneel employ hundreds of locals and use many local services to maintan the properties.

At least on STJ, I think that when you visit, you are supporting locals in almost everything you do.

I have never stepped food in Little Switzerland, nor do I plan to.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 6:58 am
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

But Little Switzerland employs local help. I confess to being a little confused about this whole thread as every business I go to here, regardless of where the person who owns it resides or has their corporate HQ, is staffed and maintained by locals and local businesses.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 7:19 am
(@ms411)
Posts: 872
Prominent Member
 

Little Switzerland is no longer owned by Tiffany. It's now owned by NXP which probably is considered a local company, though the owners, I think, are from Michigan. When the business changed hands, many of the functions that were done in FL were moved to STT, so a few more locals were hired to fill some vacated slots. If you've never been in Little Switzerland, you'd be surprised at the new, very affordable line that they now carry. I think prices start at $12 or so, and the quality is very good.

Every visitor helps our local economy, and I'd like to thank all who do choose to visit us. Please encourage all your friends, relatives, co-workers, and even your enemies to spend some time with us!

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 7:53 am
(@xislandgirl)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

I never visited a Little Switzerland because it never interested me. I have my tried and true stores on STJ that I love. STT shopping is overwhelming to me, too many choices 🙂

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 7:57 am
(@toes-in-the-sand)
Posts: 263
Reputable Member
 

Thanks for all your answers. As I expected, the taxi rides, ferry rides, jeep rental and groceries are all provided by locally owned and operated entities. If I would consider renting a vehicle on STT it would not be from a national chain. I do realize that the villa owners have to pay taxes for their properties and income made in the islands even if they are not locally based and American and Delta have to pay airport fee's, taxes etc. And of course anyone doing business in the VI will hire and support the local ecomomy in some manner. I prefer to find and do business with the people who look and speak and act like the Virgin Islands. If I wanted everyone to look and sound like me why would I leave home?

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 11:50 am
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3316
Famed Member
 

toes in the sand wrote: I prefer to find and do business with the people who look and speak and act like the Virgin Islands. If I wanted everyone to look and sound like me why would I leave home?

You've got me chuckling now. What do you perceive as someone who looks and speaks and acts like the Virgin Islands? We're a melting pot of colors and accents. Should I assume that even though I'm a 26 year resident (lived here longer than I've lived anywhere else) you might walk into my business and, seeing that I'm an old white lady, would walk out? No offense intended, just wryly asking with tongue in cheek!

Should point out too that even the "national" car rental chains are locally owned and operated franchises. Cheers!

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 12:19 pm
(@xislandgirl)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

STT Resident wrote:
[quote=toes in the sand]I prefer to find and do business with the people who look and speak and act like the Virgin Islands. If I wanted everyone to look and sound like me why would I leave home?

I have a dear friend that was born and raised on STJ and continues to work and live there. She is caucasian; does that make her any less of a Virgin Islander?

The bottom line is that when you step foot into any business in the VI or in my hometown, you will be helping a local. They may not realize the large profit that the business may make, but they have a job with a salary that provides for a family. How is that not supporting locals?

I get the bigger picture. I am a huge fan of the 3/50 project http://www.the350project.net/home.html and do my very best to spend my money at small businesses in my area, but the reality is, that people need to work somewhere to provide for their families and if we all protested big box stores, there would be a great many people out of work.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 1:34 pm
(@exit-zero)
Posts: 871
Prominent Member
 

The fact that Little Switzerland , which was just an example for me, changed ownership unbeknown to me illustrates my thoughts on who owns what. My mention of Caneel and the Westin - who are surely the biggest employers on STJ was meant to show - THAT is the local economy.
As so many pointed out locals work in all industries - and off island money pays a good share of the paychecks here.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 2:43 pm
(@toes-in-the-sand)
Posts: 263
Reputable Member
 

I did not say that I believe that the Virgin Islands should look West Indian. I am not so ignorant or innocent to think that the VI should be black skinned and speak with an island accent. I do realize that the Caribbean Islands that I love are inhabited by locals from all over the world. Creole, French, British and Dutch to name just a few. It is more the air and attitude that lets me know if someone is local or a recent transplant. Or perhaps it is just my perception and I am ignorant of whom I deal with.

Yes it was my guess that most chain stores are locally owned franchises but I do enjoy more dealing with an owner who keeps all the profits locally instead of paying a franchise fee to a mainland or foreign corporation. And yes, I work for the biggest pharmaceutical maker in the universe, so I know that large corporations support many families around the world. I just like to think that when I rent from L&L jeep rental or purchase from Starfish Supermarket that the money stays where I spent it.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 2:53 pm
(@xislandgirl)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

You said that "prefer to find and do business with the people who look and speak and act like the Virgin Islands"

I am really curious how that can mean anything else? I am not trying to start a fight, but really, what does that mean?

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 2:57 pm
(@fl-barrier-islander)
Posts: 568
Honorable Member
 

I respectfully have a difference of opinion with Exit Zero's specific statement "Most of the villa rental money will go to a bank in the states to pay a mortgage." ......at least from my situation/POV. Our property manager lives on water island. She's there to do whatever we or our guests need, when we/they need it. We pay for her services monthly as well as incidental charges as they occur. She buys gasoline and propane on our behalf. She employs housekeeping, yard maintenance, sometimes the Drop or Do (laundry) in Crown Bay Marina if there's quick turnaround, Mail and More, refrigeration and other major electrial appliance technicians, painters, etc. that all support our home, our guests, and the local economy. Our guests engage the services of the Grocery Goddess, purchase lunches, dinners, drinks at Heidi's, Joe's Beach Bar, Tickles, and other restaurants on STT. They also purchase souvenirs, day sails, and contribute to other places of business on STT and other islands. Guests pay for transportion including taxis, ferries, and rental cars. In addition to paying WAPA, local-owned property insurance company, locally owned vehicle insurance company, taxes, pest control and telephone/Innovative PLUS the monies that are distributed to the fine support staff that we have on our team and the resources they engage, we personnally hire local contractors and laborers to perform larger maintenance and/or improvement projects. We also spend money locally for ferries, gas, wood, concrete, pvc, wiring, and other hardware as well as electronics, food, plants, dirt, shower curtains, trash cans, hummingbird food, ........the list goes on and on and on while we are on island for extended periods of time. I am grateful to have a vacation home to enjoy and share with others and am happy to be doing my part to contribute to the local economy.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 4:03 pm
(@loungestx)
Posts: 21
Eminent Member
 

I think that it would be hard not to use the local economy as a visitor to an island but folks who live on or stay longer may use online services etc due to the sometimes higher costs of living. But it is important to try to buy local wherever you live as that money will come back to you in some form (better local economy can be better for schools and public services, property values, others spending money at your business, employment, etc.) There are many locals (not all) in my hometown in NY who run to the mall or online unaware that many of the services and products they want are available closer to home and by folks they know. So as business owners we need to try to get the word out and have fair prices but it is important before you spend to take a look around. But that said, yes, support the island businesses as much as possible!

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 4:20 pm
 RM
(@rm)
Posts: 106
Estimable Member
 

I buy onlyCruzan Rum, just trying to do my part.

 
Posted : June 29, 2010 4:39 pm
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