NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Small businesses on Grand Bahama will be able to access a technology grant of up to $2,500, according to Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson.
Thompson said the grant would be used for the introduction and/or upgrade of technology based infrastructure with a concentration on innovation.
He was addressing a workshop on Grand Bahama yesterday under the theme “Rebuilding Smart using Technology”.
“In our ongoing efforts to rebuild our economy and to assist local existing small businesses which were damaged by the storm, The Office of the Prime Minister, Grand Bahama, in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has launched, the Small Business Technology Innovation Initiative,” he said.
“This program is designed specifically to create new opportunities for small businesses to access grant funding, up to $2,500) ear-marked for the introduction and/or upgrade of technology based infrastructure with a concentration on innovation.”
Thompson noted that technology based-infrastructure include, but is not limited to; data/cyber security, cloud computing and storage, website design/implementation and enhancement hardware and software, mobile applications, collaboration/remote workforce systems, marketing services and productivity/financial management systems.
Thompson said the reconstruction and recovery of the island’s small business community is critical to the country’s overall recovery.
“Small businesses have always been our life blood and should be our key focus on rebuilding our economy” he said.
“A significant number of businesses were significantly damaged in the storm and will require some form of rebuilding. Rebuilding provides us with the opportunity to do so using smarter technology.
“A significant amount of damage involved storage of paper files. This provides us with another opportunity to use more digital tools for data storage which assists businesses in becoming more resilient and provides opportunities to build the technology industry in Grand Bahama and the Bahamas,” Thompson said.
“The Hurricane exposed our great reliance on cash and the old banking system. Many countries have used their limitations with banking to leapfrog using digital currencies or e-wallets.”
He added: “This provides for us to tap into and develop a new industry and a new opportunity for a faster, more convenient way of doing business.”