IFRC & GB Red Cross Officials Pay Courtesy Visit to GBPA

Pictured from left to right: Misty Adderley, Operations Manager, Grand Bahama Red Cross; Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama; Atxaerandio Gonzalo, Disaster Manager for Latin America & Caribbean, IFRC; Angelique Saunders, SBR Grant Program Officer, Grand Bahama Red Cross; and LaShawn Dames, Business Services Manager, GBPA.

June 24, 2021 – Freeport Bahamas – Grand Bahama businesses continue to make significant strides in rebuilding their operations post-Hurricane Dorian and midst the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, many of them have evolved to be more resilient, efficient and better positioned to face future crises. For organizers of the Small Business Recovery (SBR) grant program, this progress is a result of the accomplishment of critical project milestones by implementing partners The Bahamas Red Cross Society (BRCS) and The Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA) over a year ago.

“Hurricane Dorian was an historically catastrophic event requiring unprecedented levels of aid, funding and support for recovery for those residents and businesses who were severely impacted,” explained Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama during a recent courtesy call and program close-out interview with Atxaerandio Gonzalo, Disaster Manager for Latin America & Caribbean for International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and Grand Bahama Red Cross representatives Misty Adderley and Angelique Saunders.

“GBPA remains extremely grateful to our implementing partner, the BRCS, as well as to IFRC for their support of the SBR grant program,” continued Mr. Newbold. “Together, we designed and implemented a comprehensive program, bridging the gap between existing economic recovery grant programs and the island’s most vulnerable business sector – micro and livelihood businesses comprised of vendors, artisans, fishermen, farmers and others.”

The SBR grant program officially launched in May 2020 as a partnership initiative between BRCS and GBPA, and later received generous support from the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre (SBDC). The program’s primary goals focused on funding and providing business resiliency training to a minimum of 80 micro and livelihoods businesses. Grants were awarded in amounts of $3,000, $4,500 and $6,000 to successful candidates based on level of impact and need. The program successfully concluded in October 2020 after two rounds of funding to more than 100 businesses, injecting over $400,000 in economic recovery funding into the local economy.

“The initiative received high praise from both program partners and donors,” Newbold shared, adding that he was pleased to see the program replicated on Abaco. “We began developing the program details in early February 2020 but, by March, the reality of COVID had set in and we had to pivot from a manual program to conducting all activities virtually. The entire process became digital, including gathering documents, vetting, evaluating and scoring of applications, as well as the training program for grantees.

“However, to learn that more than 70% of grantees had restarted their businesses, and greater than 85% felt confident in managing their operations and were more equipped to face future challenges as a result of this undertaking, is a true testament to the program’s success,” Newbold concluded.

As the 2021 hurricane season gets underway, all parties have agreed, in principle, to collaborate on continued disaster preparedness and economic recovery programs moving forward for the benefit of the Grand Bahama community.


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