How One Firm’s Efforts Helped St. Croix Recover From Devastating 2017 Hurricanes

Based on St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands, Cane Bay Partners is an international consulting firm that focuses on financial services, risk management, and technology. In addition to being a sought-after source of advice and support for companies worldwide, Cane Bay Partners is also an active, engaged member of the U.S. Virgin Islands community.

When Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the islands in the fall of 2017, the founders of Cane Bay Partners knew that an especially vigorous and carefully targeted response would be needed. With their home island of St. Croix having suffered huge amounts of damage, the firm’s partners resolved to do everything possible to speed up the recovery.

Under the direction of Kirk Chewning and David Johnson Cane Bay set up a nonprofit dedicated to collecting resources and distributing relief. That nonprofit, Cane Bay Cares, quickly became a core component of the recovery effort.

A Strategic Partnership Speeds Things Up

Time is always of the essence when working to recover from natural disasters like Hurricanes Irma and Maria. It is generally best to be prepared to address all the ensuing needs well beforehand, but that is not always practical or even possible.

Given the unusual nature of the 2017 hurricanes and the intensity of their destructive force, many observers felt that St. Croix would be in for an especially prolonged and painful recovery. That could well have been the case if not for the agility of the response that was mounted by Cane Bay Cares and the organizations it coordinated with.

One especially fruitful move saw Cane Bay Cares coming into existence via a strategic agreement with a long-established St. Croix nonprofit. The arrangement with the 501(c)3 St. Croix Foundation made donations tax-deductible from the start, thanks to skipping over the usual bureaucratic delays and red tape.

A Smoother Recovery Than Expected

That allowed more aid to flow to the residents of St. Croix right when they needed it the most instead of being held up because of the unexpected and unpredictable severity of the situation. Although there were still plenty of challenges to be overcome, that early victory helped establish much-needed momentum that made subsequent recovery efforts more effective.

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