July 12, 2020
Business Hurricane Dorian Updates Press Releases Uncategorized

GBPA and MercyCorps Partner to Invest $40,000 in Grand Bahama Businesses

The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Mercy Corps International (MC) awarded a number of grants valued at over $40,000 to local businesses to assist with their business recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
The grants are part of GBPA’s small business economic recovery program, and a partnership initiative with MC entitled Restoring Industries, and Sustaining Employment (RISE). Five of fourteen businesses qualified under this round of the selection process for RISE for business recovery assistance and were awarded grants of up to $10,000 each during a brief ceremony for the Pilot Cohort at GBPA headquarters on Monday, 16th December.
TEAM RISE WITH PILOT COHORT - Five of fourteen businesses qualified under RISE for business recovery assistance and were awarded grants of up to $10K each during a brief ceremony for the pilot cohort at Port headquarters on Monday 16th December. Pictured from left to right: Jonathan Campbell - 5S Maintenance Service; Virginia Cooper, Program Officer – Mercy Corps; Kristian Rahming, OnPoint Designs & Printing; Kelsey Lundgren, Program Advisor - Mercy Corps; Nicole Pinder, Skyline Express; Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development – GBPA Group; Pete Sweetnam, In-Country Director- Mercy Corps; Sophia Smith, Escante Boutique and LaShawn Dames, Business Services Manager – GBPA.
“This cohort of RISE represents the pilot round of grants, which will assist micro, small, and medium-sized businesses with recovery efforts and re-establish or strengthen local business operations,” stated GBPA’s President Ian Rolle during the awards ceremony. “More importantly, RISE will provide essential disaster recovery and management training, in tandem with business mentoring, to ensure the future success of program participants well beyond receiving the grant.”
Both GBPA and MC officials expressed the importance of rebuilding and strengthening the island’s small business sector.  Pete Sweetnam, in-country Director for MC, shared, “Businesses qualifying for RISE grants will undergo management training, in addition to being able to access mentorship support through MicroMentor, a network of more than twenty-five thousand businesses operating in over 190 countries worldwide, for up to one year at no cost. This program has proven highly successful in other locations such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, and we are confident that our partnership with GBPA will produce success in this environment as well.” 
VISITING ONPOINT DESIGNS - GBPA Executives pay a visit to OnPoint Designs & Printing to congratulate Kristian Rahming, RISE grant recipient. Pictured: Ian Rolle, President – GBPA Group; Kristian Rahming, OnPoint Designs & Printing; Sarah St. George, Acting Chairman – GBPA Group and Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development – GBPA Group.
Recipients of the RISE grant pilot cohort included 5S Maintenance Service, Local Organics, Skyline Express, Escante, and OnPoint Designs & Printing. 
“Our partnership with MC has been fruitful since the start, and RISE is a great example of that,” said Sarah St. George, GBPA Vice Chairman. “The entire RISE team did a phenomenal job organizing the program and executing this pilot cohort. Recommendations from all sides have refined the application, submission, review, and award process to deliver a streamlined experience and timely support to applicants.” 
The application process for Cohort II of RISE will resume early in the new year with a goal of awarding grants to at least 100 qualifying businesses. Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama, Derek Newbold, notes that RISE is open to all companies across Grand Bahama impacted by the storm, and those needing support should apply.
“If you have experienced loss or damage as a direct result of Hurricane Dorian, were open for at least a year, have less than 20 employees, and generate less than $150,000 in annual revenues, you can apply for a RISE grant,” he explained. “The RISE initiative is about driving economic recovery, building resilience, and bolstering future sustainability of Grand Bahama’s economy to enable us to rebuild, restore and recover together.”

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