Over 100 Family Island firms aided by $30m BDB facility

20 Mar 2024


Bahamas Development BankThe loan facility will service over 100 clients

The Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDBs) $30m loan facility is projected to benefit more than 100 Family Island businesses.

Nicholas Higgs, its managing director, said the loan facility is expected to provide around 110 clients with an average $270,000 in financing. This number can fluctuate due to the size of the loans required by applicants.

He explained that the loan facility is currently undergoing its final approval and will be used to finance multiple sectors including renewable energy, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism

Mr. Higgs said: “We are finalising our second and final approval. That $30m is to go across the Family Islands; all industries. We have certain weightings within this. Energy just reflects a mandate and a portion of that. So we have ranges, but that the facility is going from all industries – manufacturing, services, fisheries, agriculture, tourism, all of those areas we are mandated to address.”

Mr. Higgs said the BDB has a number of initiatives to aid small businesses, including financing for operators in the cultural industries – the so-called ‘orange economy’ – through its partnership with C-15 Studios. He added that creatives can receive financing by submitting their business plans through the BDB.

Orange economy to receive financing via C-15 Studios

“We also have a relationship with the C-15 Studios, and so persons who are the orange economy – that’s tourism, painting, concerts, massages, events – any of those they can get funding through that programme,” said Mr. Higgs.

We have an exclusive relationship with them for The Bahamas, and so anyone looking to get financed who are within the orange economy they can submit their business plans to BDB through that fund.”

Mr. Higgs added that the BDB has already received a number of applicants since the programme launched last year, and small businesses will also be able to benefit from this initiative.

He said: “We launched in June 2023 and so we have a good number of applications in there already. We actually got an offer for that.

“The C-15 fund is not located in The Bahamas. It’s located in Trinidad, and getting international money into the country is very important. It’s not international persons such as hotels, but small businesses will be able to benefit, too.”

Mr. Higgs added that BDB also offers 100 percent collateralised loans for businesses to purchase electric vehicles. “We offer loans for electric vehicles, 100 percent collateralised, and so it’s a great opportunity for people to get electric vehicles for their businesses,” he said.

Source: The Tribune