Minister targeting new Expo to bring Grand Bahamians home8 May 2024

Grand Bahama MapOngoing partnerships to promote Grand Bahama for tourism and other developments

A Cabinet minister has asserted that Freeport and Grand Bahama’s wider economy are on the rebound as “investor confidence continues to grow” and former residents return home.

Ginger Moxey, keynote speaker at the 2024 Freeport Business Expo, which attracted several local small and medium-sized businesses to display their products and services, said the Government is keenly focused on Grand Bahama’s growth and development. The event was held in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry for Grand Bahama, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and other partners.

“My ministry continues to partner with the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation to promote Grand Bahama to the world for tourism and other developments,” said Mrs. Moxey, minister for Grand Bahama. “We are in constant dialogue with the cruise lines, the airlines, the tour operators and other investors and developers to ensure that the $2bn currently in progress is expedited.

“Tourism is on the move. Grand Bahama is on the move. It is happening, and we want our people to be prepared for it, so much that the Government of The Bahamas — a collaboration between the Ministry for Grand Bahama and the Ministry of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation – has already held two entrepreneurial expos for the year. One in west Grand Bahama and the other in Freeport.”

Mrs. Moxey said her ministry has launched the ‘Empower Grand Bahama micro-business grant programme’ to encourage new and existing entrepreneurs to create experiences, services and authentic products that are all uniquely Bahamian and attractive to visitors.

Some 149 micro grants have been awarded to tour and experience providers, creatives/artisans and Bahamian food and beverage providers. Relief grants were also extended to straw and farmer’s market vendors, and to Junkanoo groups to help them rebuild after Hurricane Dorian.

“And my ministry continues to work closely with the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation to promote Grand Bahama as a tourism and investment destination to overseas markets,” said Mrs. Moxey.

The Grand Expo event is designed to entice Grand Bahamians to return home

“On the ground, we have cleaned and restored the Bahama Arts & Craft Centre and the surrounding property, heritage and cultural sites from east to west through the ‘Beautiful Grand Bahama’ programme, and supported cultural festivals like Pelican Point Coconut Festival, McLean’s Town Conch Cracking, Goombay Summer and others so that visitors and residents can enjoy events celebrating our Bahamian heritage.”

Mrs. Moxey said a new event, called the Grand Expo, is set to take place on July 5 leading up to the annual Independence celebrations. It will be hosted by the Collab Unit of the Ministry of Grand Bahama, under the theme ‘Well coming home’.

It will feature government agencies such as the Tourism Development Corporation, Bahamas Development Bank, Bahamas Mortgage Corporation and Small Business Development Centre, as well as the GBPA, Grand Bahama Development Company and Invest Grand Bahama. Real estate companies, land developers and other organisations will also be present.

The initiative is designed to entice Grand Bahamians to return home. Mrs. Moxey said that with its population having declined to 47,000, but Freeport having the capacity to easily service more than 250,000 people, it is time for residents to return to Grand Bahama.

“There has never been a better time,” she added. “So, this is a clarion call… if it’s been over 20 years, or five years, after Dorian, or even one year… to you the Grand Bahama Diaspora, it’s time to come home!”

Source: The Tribune