The billionaire, who rode out the historic hurricane [in his wine cellar!] on his private island, sees a need for a long-term rebuilding effort.
…The European Recovery Program was a U.S.-led effort to inject $13 billion into the economy of 16 European nations with agriculture and industrial production hollowed out by the war. It has been forever linked to then-Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who powerfully called for substantial aid to Europe during a speech at Harvard University in 1947.
…By many measures, the plan was a success, with a 150 percent increase in standard of living over the next three decades in participating countries, according to the Marshall Foundation, and stronger ties with Europe on diplomatic and economic levels. Launched in 1948, the aid effort concluded in 1952.
“Over the coming weeks, we’ll have to assess exactly what is needed. It is clear to me creating jobs is paramount — there will be a huge amount of rebuilding to be done and people will need work to help rebuild their lives as well as their homes,” Branson wrote on his blog.
…“The boats are piled up like matchsticks in the harbour. Huge cargo ships were thrown out of the water and into rocks. Resorts have been decimated,” Branson said Friday after a tour of Virgin Gorda, a nearby island southwest of Necker. “The houses have their roofs blown off; even some churches where people sheltered have lost roofs. But the whole British Virgin Islands community is rallying round,” he said.