June 8, 2021 – Freeport, Grand Bahama: In 2020, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) launched the Revitalization and Economic Expansion of Freeport (REEF) Committee as part of its continuing effort to revitalize Grand Bahama’s economy following Hurricane Dorian and during the ongoing pandemic.
REEF comprises a broad representation of Freeport business owners as well as GBPA representatives.
The Committee’s goal was to produce an Action Plan with short, medium and long-term solutions to meet key objectives necessary to strengthen the economy through a diverse range of initiatives.
“Phase one included a consultation process in which the Committee conducted a public survey of residents to identify their concerns regarding the local economy and the environment. We were pleased to see about 3,200 responses from residents during the exercise, who shared their concerns about hurricane preparation and protection, the revitalization of healthcare facilities and diversification of the economy – all areas of priority to the Committee.” commented Robert Adams, Committee Lead.
After extensive consultation and collaboration, REEF has completed its Action Plan, which is now available on the website for viewing at https://reef.gbpa.com.
Members of REEF have been working with the Government to fulfill critical short-term objectives, including completing the handover of Grand Bahama International Airport to The Bahamas Government, finalizing the extension of the real property tax exemption to all GBPA licensees and residents, updating the Freeport bye-laws to enhance the appearance of the city, supporting the work of the Public Health Authority in the Covid-19 pandemic, progressing the new Carnival Cruise Port Project to mobilization, expansion of Freeport Harbour Cruise Facility with Royal Caribbean Cruise International, repairing social infrastructure in the Port Area . The Committee is also collaborating with business owners and entrepreneurs to enhance ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Freeport.
In Phase Two, REEF will continue its collaboration with the Government to advance further goals. Among them are creating jobs through policy and legislative changes, assisting in digitizing administrative and government processes, developing an agency to promote investment in Freeport, creating opportunities for more ‘Made In The Bahamas’ products and services, exploring new opportunities presented by the ‘blue economy’ and expanding existing opportunities in the maritime industry.
To read more about the REEF Committee, visit their website at https://reef.gbpa.com.
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