Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley made that appeal to business owners during an interview on the Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday.
“You cannot judge a nation by one bad experience. You maybe get a bad employee some years ago, you going to paint a whole nation of people to be like that? No. I had to take it out of the atmosphere! I cannot let those words go down in the spirit of my people! If you going to do something and you had one bad experience, I tell those companies, if you found a bad BVIslander, I apologize. Move on to the next one and maybe the next one, and maybe the next one, maybe you may find two dozen [good ones],” Wheatley said.
“This philosophy that ‘I can come and do business in the BVI and I don’t have to hire a single BVIslander if I don’t wish to do so and nobody can make me hire a BVIslander’; this is something I do not appreciate at all,” he added.
The Labour Minister said there are locals who are “doing phenomenal work in the BVI”.
On that note, he suggested that there seems to be a double standard where employers don’t celebrate local employees that do good work.
“You don’t hear anyone singing their praises, and there are tonnes upon tonnes of them who give amazing, world-class, first-class, top-class work. But the minute you find one bad BVIslander, one you don’t like or whatever, all of a sudden all of them lazy, all of them stupid, they all incompetent, they all need training, they don’t have etiquette. All of a sudden they don’t know anything.”
The Labour Minister further said this philosophy has resulted in locals becoming afraid of hiring their own people.
There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.