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News : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Jun 17, 2020 - 2:26:59 PM

BRC and GBPA conclude successful first round of SBR grants; 32 businesses awarded funding
By Grand Bahama Port Authority
Jun 17, 2020 - 2:20:46 PM

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SUPPORTING ECONOMIC RECOVERY: The SBR initiative is an economic recovery program in partnership between BRC and GBPA that will award a minimum of eighty (80) grants in amounts of up to $6,000 to micro-businesses on Grand Bahama affected by Hurricane Dorian. Pictured are SBR Team members looking on as Derek Newbold – Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama (2nd right) and Adrian Martinez Ferrandis – IFRC Livelihoods Delegate (3rd right) interview Nekeva Roberts, Sweeting’s Cay business owner and grant applicant (center) during a recent business inspection on Sweeting’s Cay, East Grand Bahama.

Freeport, Bahamas - Earlier this month, executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRC) concluded the first round of their Small Business Recovery (SBR) grant program, awarding over 30 grants to local businesses. The partnership initiative, launched in early May and focused exclusively on micro-businesses including vendor permit holders on Grand Bahama, will award grants of up to $6,000 to qualifying entrepreneurs affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Noting that the recently awarded grants come at a crucial time, GBPA President Ian Rolle expressed, “Nine months after Hurricane Dorian, many small businesses on Grand Bahama are still in need of assistance and the SBR grants will be critical to their recovery. Many of these businesses rely heavily on the tourism and hospitality sectors, and the recent announcement by the Government of The Bahamas bodes well for this category of business.” 

The SBR Team is pictured interviewing Wilson Joseph, local egg and produce farmer, during his business inspection. From left to right: Wilson Joseph, Angelique Saunders, BRC Livelihoods Officer, Adrian Martinez Ferrandis – IFRC Livelihoods Delegate and LaShawn Dames, Business Services Manager – GBPA during the business inspection.

“The Bahamas Red Cross Society is honored to partner with the Grand Bahama Port Authority in making the SBR grant program a reality,” commented Mr. Sean Brennen, Director General, Bahamas Red Cross Society. “We are pleased to see the success of the initial round of applications, and we look forward to the program’s continuation. BRC is committed to assisting micro and small businesses that were severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian. This ongoing partnership provides immediate financial recovery to the Grand Bahama business community.”

In addition to funding, successful applicants will undertake mandatory Finance, Marketing, and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery training. Businesses will also receive a free one-year membership with the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce.

SBR Team interviewing members of the Grand Bahama Bee Keepers Association. From left to right: Adrian Martinez Ferrandis – IFRC Livelihoods Delegate, Mishleah Curtis, Owner of Bahamas Apiary Treasure Housing, Janiece Saunders, owner of Bee U Nique, Iris Garland, owner of K Michelle, Angelique Saunders, BRC Livelihoods Officer and Derek Newbold – Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama.

“The SBR grant program was designed to assist business owners with re-establishing their business operations, and to provide a means of support to those that have already resumed operations but are challenged with sustainability,” said Derek Newbold, Senior Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama. “The training associated with this initiative will enhance the skills critical to success in today’s digital environment, and equip business owners with the knowledge to mitigate the impact of future catastrophic events like Dorian. We want as many of Grand Bahama’s micro and small businesses as possible to benefit from this program.”

Round II of the SBR Grant program, which closed on 12th June, received some 200 applications from micro businesses in key sectors such as fishing, farming, handicrafts and souvenirs, food, and small services or sales as the primary or only source of income. The program will award a minimum of eighty micro-businesses with grants from $3,000 to $6,000.
SBR Team meeting with Ann Russell, partner/owner at RCA Chicken Nest of West Grand Bahama. Pictured left to right: Anne Russell, Derek Newbold – Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama, and Adrian Martinez Ferrandis – IFRC Livelihoods Delegate.

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