GBPA, Mercy Corps to boost island’s business sector

Afirst phase, inclusive of 100 business places receiving thousands of dollars, up to 10 (thousand), in some cases for revitalization, is huge.

 Last week, in a joint announcement, the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and Mercy Corps informed of the RISE 2020 programme, geared to re-energize micro and small business in Grand Bahama. The GBPA is the quasi-governing administration in Freeport, and Mercy Corps is one of the noted global organizations that assists with recoveries in countries struck by disasters.

 Credit is due the GBPA and Mercy Corps for this meaningful gesture. Micro and small business are very important to economic planks in societies, as they collectively provide the vast majority of employment, resulting in turn-over salaries. It is therefore grand indeed, that such an effort is being coordinated.

 As for Mercy Corps, the role is an old one.  Mercy Corps was established in 1979 and is powered by a massive and fruitful marketing programme, which enables the organization to span the globe, helping those in disaster areas.

 The grants will fuel the budgets of businesses that were severely compromised by Hurricane Dorian; foster re-employment; and in some situations, add new people to the list of salaried persons in the island. The prospective financial spillover is just what the doctor ordered for Grand Bahama.

 Vice President Henry St. George, the GBPA’s point person for the project, called the programme “a hand-up for entrepreneurs” and he pledged continued involvement within the business sector membership, in order to financially empower them as the island makes the long journey towards full recovery.

 “It goes beyond a hand-out. This is a hand-up for the entrepreneurs. In the initial phase, we are seeking to help 100 businesses. We will look to build on the success of that programme and continue to help the business community,” said St. George. He encouraged interested persons to go online to or visit the office of the GBPA, downtown, Freeport.

 Mercy Corps Programme Advisor Kelsey Lundgren emphasized the rebuilding steps being provided, which include cash grants and training for business owners and their workers.

 “Our programme is not just about handing out cash to people. Anybody can really do that. We’re trying to invest in businesses, in a different way, with a more sustainable model,” said Lundgren, adding that there will be a focus, also, on showing proprietors how to rebuild their businesses.

 Mercy Corps is just one of the many positive responders to the sorry state Grand Bahama was left in, following the passing of Hurricane Dorian, this past September.

 An island, and the wider country of The Bahamas, is greatly indebted to those who have given aid and assistance, in many ways.

 Our business sector is definitely in need of a boost.

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