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Local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs were challenged to take their businesses and ideas to the next level, during a Small Business Fair and Training Workshop, hosted by The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), last Thursday, 26th January at the Pelican Bay Resort.

The 1-day event featured a platform of dynamic presenters, addressing issues vital to the start-up, growth and innovation stages of business. Topics included ‘Crowdfunding – An Alternative Method of Raising Capital – presented by Indiegogo; ‘Crafting Successful sales and marketing strategies – presented by VKR Insights’, and ‘smart banking for small and medium enterprises (SME) – presented by Scotiabank. 

Leveraging “Opportunities for Growth ” and how The Bahamas as an investment jurisdiction, can realize the opportunities that international business and commerce presents, was a focus of panel discussions at the 2017 International Business & Finance Summit, held at the Grand Lucayan Resort, this past Friday.

The 3-day annual event is hosted by the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BSFB), and is the premier platform for bringing together the nation’s leading stakeholders in the financial services industry to discuss and define the value of services to be delivered to clients choosing to conduct business in the jurisdiction. 

December to Remember is turning out to be a welcomed addition in the City of Freeport, with organizers already witnessing success thus far.  The Grand Bahama Port Authority's Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB) is the primary sponsor of three events geared at getting residents in the mood for the holidays.  In collaboration with the Downtown Freeport Business Association (DFBA), IGBSBB held the third Movie Night on Friday, December 9th, representing the first in a series of three events to be held during the month of December. The vintage drive in movie affair attracted scores of movie goers to the centre of the Downtown area, who began arriving almost two hours to showtime, underscoring the level of enthusiasm for the complimentary undertaking. 

The night was perfect for the viewing of the movie, Miracle From Heaven, as cars parked with families and couples all spending quality time took advantage of the cold weather and crisp breeze to get comfortable for a movie, which highlights God's love and miraculous healing of a little girl.  Seating was also made available for residents who wished to view the movie from the big screen placed directly in front of Park -n-Shop for all to see.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has had the opportunity to review the Hurricane Matthew costs incurred by the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), to restore electricity to Grand Bahama Island, in accordance with the Electricity Regulatory Framework & Operating Protocol Agreement of 2013.

We have verified power restoration costs quantified at $27.5 million comprising extensive labour and materials, which were required during the island-wide hurricane restoration exercise. The GBPC recovery operation involved local and off-island crews - without which it is estimated the restoration would have taken 60 weeks (15 months) rather than six weeks. The adverse economic impact resulting from a slow restoration - with its extended hardship and inevitable loss of business, tourism, trade and jobs - would have implied costs many times higher for the Grand Bahama community as a whole and possibly proved irremediable, according to studies undertaken.

The Northern Bahamas Council for the Disabled recently benefitted from the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s community outreach.  Just recently, council members visited the headquarters of the GBPA to accept a donation cheque.  The donation was timely as residents of all walks of life continue to rebuild their lives, following the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew.  Accepting on behalf of the organization was its president, Frederick Poitier, accompanied by council treasurer, Monica Williams and secretary, Sharon McGregor.

According to Poitier, the donation made by officials of the GBPA was a “Ray of Sunshine.”  Poitier, who took on the position of president of the council less than a week before the hurricane hit, stated that council members were in need of assistance and it came at the right time.  “Following the hurricane, we were concerned that our members were being left behind.  We were on empty food wise and at the council, the cupboards were bare.”

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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THE WAY FORWARD


Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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