FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) revealed yesterday that it intends to introduce a new licensee category next month that will aim to make starting a new business be more affordable for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Beginning January 2021, aspiring entrepreneurs on Grand Bahama will have a new, cost-effective option for launching new businesses in the city of Freeport,” the GBPA said in a statement.
“The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited is introducing a new licensee category that will reduce startup costs and bring significant benefits to entrepreneurs looking to start micro-ventures.
“The new micro-business license (MBL) comes as a result of more than 18 months of data-gathering during business recovery efforts and grant funding programs that supported hundreds of micro and small businesses across the island impacted by Hurricane Dorian last year.”
Port Group President Ian Rolle said: “GBPA is excited to announce the new micro-license category, which not only offers a lower-cost startup for entrepreneurs entering specific business sectors, but will also offer significant day-to-day cost savings by way of a GBPA bond.
“While the new license category will cost less, it will still offer all the benefits of a traditional GBPA business license including access to a GBPA bond, free marketing and promotional opportunities, free business training initiatives and access to investment capital through grant funding opportunities.”
GBPA Senior Manager of Business Development Derek Newbold added that he believes the new initiative will encourage the introduction of new, innovative business ideas.
“Entrepreneurs will find that the cost of [an] MBL is affordable and ideal for starting and testing new micro-business concepts,” Newbold said.
“There has been an increase in unemployment and underemployment post-Dorian. Consequently, we found that persons were pushing to start new micro-businesses in order to make up a shortfall in their household income. As the organization responsible for regulating businesses within the city of Freeport, GBPA designed the MBL to facilitate low-cost startups and provide significant benefits to aid micro-business growth and success.”
The authority said information on the MBL and application forms will be available early in the new year on the company’s website at www.gbpa.com, from its Customer Relations Department and through the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau.