July 10, 2020
Uncategorized

East Grand Bahama Businesses Prepare to Receive Economic Recovery Support Through the RISE Initiative

TARGETING 200 SMALL BUSINESSES: Through the RISE initiative, Mercy Corps and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, with generous financial support from Bacardi and the American Red Cross, will support 200 businesses with grants, in-depth training and mentoring to drive economic recovery on Grand Bahama Island.  The programme offers up to $10K in disaster recovery funding to qualifying businesses on Grand Bahama. Visit www.risegbpa.com for more information and to apply for the grant.

Through the RISE initiative, global humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps and The Grand Bahama Port Authority, with generous financial support from Bacardi Limited and the American Red Cross, will support 200 businesses with grants, in-depth training and mentoring to drive economic recovery on Grand Bahama Island. The programme provides grants of up to $10,000 in economic recovery funding to qualifying businesses on Grand Bahama, which were impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

On Saturday, February 29th, dozens of business owners from East Grand Bahama, gathered at the Government park in High Rock, to speak one-on-one with leaders of the RISE (Restoring Industries, Sustaining Employment) Grant Initiative, during an event hosted by Mercy Corps, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), targeting businesses impacted by Hurricane Dorian. 

“The idea behind the RISE Programme is to restart Grand Bahama’s small business sector in the wake of Hurricane Dorian,” says Henry St. George, GBPA Director. “With the help of Mercy Corps, the American Red Cross, and Bacardi we designed RISE to allow small businesses to apply for economic recovery grants of up to $10K. Our target is to support 200 businesses with economic recovery grants, training, and mentorship support.”

ONE-ON-ONE SUPPORT: "The idea behind the RISE Programme is to restart Grand Bahama's small business sector in the wake of hurricane Dorian,” says Henry St. George, GBPA Director during one-on-one discussion with High Rock business owners.

“We had to find a way to make this funding available to all business owners, particularly those who are most vulnerable,” says Kelsey Lundgren, Team Leader for Mercy Corps in The Bahamas. “We want all Grand Bahamians to know about this program and we know we will have a lot of competitive applications. We are excited to work with business owners in the East, where the storm hit hardest, and to help them rebuild and recover their businesses.”

RISE has already awarded grants to 60 businesses across Grand Bahama, with an estimated value of nearly $600,000. A new round of grants will be awarded in March and applications will be open for subsequent funding in April and May 2020. 

Kelsey Lundgren, in-country Director for Mercy Corps, sharing details on the initiative with East GB business owners.

“Hurricane Dorian severely impacted the communities of East Grand Bahama, and many residents have lost everything, both personal and business-wise. It was essential for us to ensure that business owners in east Grand Bahama were fully apprised of the application process and reminded that the RISE grant is available to businesses on Grand Bahama operating outside of Freeport as well,” says Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development, for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama. The program is open to all licensed businesses on Grand Bahama (by GBPA or The Government) that meet the eligibility criteria. Businesses may visit www.risegbpa.com for more information and to apply.”

Most residents attending the event were grateful for the support offered and came prepared to register. “The RISE Initiative could not have come at a better time. This event was a sign of hope and new beginnings,” says Leyland Laing, owner of High Point Beach Bar & Restaurant. “Residents were excited and eager to apply, and the RISE team clearly explained and assisted with the application process. Thank you to GBPA, Mercy Corps, and the other partners!”

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