Budget Marine St.Thomas - an inspiring story of survival

In image: Budget Marine staff members from left to right Kerrol Laurent, Roger Lauer, Kathy Kurtz (Manager), Elisha Warner, Terry Semon, Steve Shull and Haleema Francis. Not in the photo: Michael Austin and Frank Barnes.

The story of Budget Marine St Thomas in the aftermath of the big hurricanes of 2017 is an inspiring one. Nearly a year ago this chandlery in St Thomas weathered 2 Category 5 hurricanes, which seriously disrupted their ability to operate normally.

Whilst the building was mainly undamaged, around them was extensive damage. Permanent electrical supply and telephones returned only well into 2018. In spite of that the location was able to keep going and slowly bring sales close to previous levels using varied shipping solutions to stay on top of it.

Location Manager Kathy Kurtz and her team managed to keep this location running effectively with partial electricity over a long period and under difficult circumstances. Kathy spells out the hard challenges during their period of recovery as follows:

2 months without internet, 6 months without power, 7 months without phone service. During that time we learned a lot about how to make things happen - keep our store open, get products on our shelves and keep all our employees employed. There were plenty of compromises that had to be made, shortened store and employee hours, alternate products and shipping methods, but with enough perseverance just about anything can be accomplished.”

Despite everything, Budget Marine VI /St Thomas is back on track and once again open 7 days a week, Mon – Sat 08.00 – 17.00 and Sun 09.00 – 14.00, following the US tradition. The resilience of this location team in arduous conditions has been impressive and we congratulate them.

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