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News : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Jun 30, 2020 - 1:14:17 PM


BRCS/GBPA Kick-Off Entrepreneurial Training for SBR Grant Recipients
By Grand Bahama Port Authority
Jun 30, 2020 - 12:55:09 PM

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TEAM EFFORT – Supporting the recovery of livelihood businesses on Grand Bahama is the primary focus of the SBR grant program, a partnership initiative between BRCS and GBPA. To date, 32 micro and small business owners have received a total of nearly $160K in funding as a result of the program. Pictured are SBR team members during inspection of businesses in round one of the program, left to right: Adrian Martinez Ferrandis – IFRC Livelihoods Delegate, Derek Newbold – GBPA Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama, Melvin Rolle – Network Access Solutions and Angelique Saunders – BRCS Livelihoods Officer.

Freeport, Bahamas - Entrepreneurial training for 32 successful recipients of the Small Business Recovery (SBR) grant program began last week in a virtual classroom.  The partnership initiative between The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) grants up to $6,000 in funding and business support for Grand Bahama micro-businesses impacted by Hurricane Dorian.  The assistance comes at a very critical time for businesses struggling to recover from Dorian and now realizing the effects of COVID-19.

Although funding is the primary focus of the program, BRCS Director-General Sean Brennan explained that mandatory business training was particularly critical to re-building a more resilient small business sector for the island.  “The Bahamas Red Cross Society is honored to partner with the Grand Bahama Port Authority in making the SBR grant program a reality.  We were especially pleased with the success of the opening round of applications, and we look forward to the program’s continuation.  BRCS is committed to assisting micro and small businesses severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian, and this ongoing partnership will provide them with both immediate financial recovery and essential training.”

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SUPPORTING RECOVERY: GBPA Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama, Derek Newbold, stands on the former site of ‘Seaside Takeout’ eatery on Sweeting’s Cay. Today, only the foundation remains. “Grant recipients will receive disaster preparedness and recovery training that equips them with the knowledge to mitigate the impact of future catastrophic events like Dorian,” he expressed.

Island Dreams Management, facilitators of the training, designed the courses exclusively for the SBR grant program, focusing primarily on business management fundamentals, but from a digital and cloud-based perspective. Topics covered over the four-week Entrepreneurial Bootcamp include Business and Financial Planning, Branding, Marketing, Crisis Management and Networking. Participants also receive a free one-year membership with the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce and an introduction to MicroMentor, a global business mentorship platform.

Participants noted that the training has given them a new level of confidence. “This first week of SBR training has been very informative and eye-opening for me,” stated Mr. Julius Lewis, proprietor of Doc’s Conch Stand. “I remember several years ago a dear customer asked me where I saw my business in terms of growth ten years from now. I did not have a good answer back then but, after my first week in the SBR training program, I could tell him about my business’ SMART goals, which I’d have readily at hand because of my SWOT analysis.”

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SUPPORTING LIVELIHOODS: SBR team members enjoy lunch at EJ’s Bayside Café, a local eatery in McClean’s Town, while conducting inspections of applicant businesses from East Grand Bahama.

Re-opening has been especially challenging for businesses within the targeted micro-license and vendor permit sectors, and the SBR grant provides support for their recovery and growth. Derek Newbold, Senior Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama, said that the SBR grant program is designed to support economic recovery and help build resilience for micro-businesses in particular.

“The SBR Grant program assists business owners with re-establishing operations and provides support to those that have resumed operations, but are challenged with sustainability given the economic impacts of Dorian,” said Mr. Newbold. “The mandatory complimentary training focuses on enhancing essential business skills as well as disaster preparedness and recovery training to equip them with the knowledge to mitigate the impact of future catastrophic events.”

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