“…There is a great opportunity that sits right at the feet of Grenadian companies, businesses, entrepreneurs, group of investors, development entities, and the like to take advantage of a very real wealth generating investment incentive under the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme…”
That’s according to Real Estate Investment Strategist, Johanan Lafeuillee-Doughlin, who shared just how this can be achieved in an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY last week Friday.
Lafeuillee-Doughlin, who is also a Caribbean Real Estate Attorney-at-Law said, contrary to the wide perception of most Grenadians, that the CBI programme is geared at foreign investors, an option is available for local investors under the real estate component of the CBI programme.
“Whereas the understanding on the ground has been that this (CBI) is something for foreigners,” which Lafeuillee-Doughlin agrees can be attributed to a lack of structured and consistent education initiative on the part of the government, said, “It’s (not) fair to put fault on any one person because nothing stops a Grenadian who really wants to take advantage of this framework from seeking guidance from a professional in the industry.”
She pointed out that nothing within the CBI framework prevents a Grenadian entrepreneur with a viable project idea or a group of Grenadian businessmen and women from coming together to accumulate a one-off application fee of USD 10, 000 and, with the right backing, seek to get their viable real estate project Government Approved.
She highlighted the accomplishment of Grenadian entrepreneur Dr. Richard Nixon, who has taken advantage of the real estate framework under the CBI with his EC$20 million approved project, the recently commissioned Hide Away Condominiums located at True Blue.
Other local investors under the CBI programme include the St. David Agro Inc owned by Oliver Paul B. Arch and The Legacy Project owned by Michelle Steele, the wife of Health Minister Nicholas Steele.
During the official commissioning ceremony of his project, Nixon indicated his intention to educate Grenadians about the opportunities available to them under the CBI programme.
“…I have taken it upon myself to take a step forward in that direction and really educate and empower because apart from knowing …the next step is to take action,” Lafeuillee Doughlin said.
“A Grenadian, who might have successfully done some form of investing before…can benefit greatly under the programme; however, she said in order to reap the benefits, “the project must be a real estate project, must be viable and sustainable and must be government approved”.
Noting that “most of the projects coming out on the ground are tourism-based,” the female strategist explained that there are other areas that can be explored such as “education, manufacturing, renewable energy or agribusiness projects,” to name a few.
Lafeuillee Doughlin, who also holds the portfolios of a Citizenship by Investment Framework Specialist and Motivational Speaker, expressed the view that now is an opportune time for Grenadians both at home and in the diaspora to consider moving forward to own their own government approved projects.
“The time is ripe for Grenadian-owned investment/development entities, and Grenadian individuals with the skills sets and other resources, to consider the opportunity that is before them as Grenada’s CBI program matures,” she said, adding that “a natural spill-off effect of the new pricing structure would be an increase in the volume of investors interested in Grenada’s CBI programme.”
The female strategist stated that her invitation also extends “to innovative and resourceful Grenadian women who have perhaps successfully executed other ventures”.
“This opportunity is for you too. You might have the land or other resources, or an innovative project idea and you might need the right backing. Take the step forward”, she said.
She went on: “Ms. Louisa Zucci of Mariposa Condominiums, an approved CBI project, is an inspiring example of a woman lead successful government approved CBI projects. That project is one of the few built and profiting CBI projects in Grenada”,” she added.
Lafeuillee-Doughlin stressed that this is also a great time for successful existing projects in the tourism, agribusiness, renewable energy, education, and other sectors to be innovative and get in on a very real opportunity to phase out or upgrade their projects, or expand their brand reach and impact.