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e-Commerce Training Hailed a Resounding Success by Participating Businesses

Scores of local businesses attended the e-Commerce Strategy Training Workshop hosted by the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), last week. The 2-day event, which focused on taking local businesses global, was held at the Pelican Bay Resort and provided a wealth of information for business owners looking to trade their goods and/or services in the virtual environment.

Filled to capacity on both days, participants at the event gave raving reviews for both the well planned initiative as well as the panel of local experts presenting.

“Exceptional presentations all-around; we need more of this….” commented Ms. Aryana Roberts.

“The seminar was amazing. Great presentations, all very helpful and insightful,” said another participant. Adding that the event was a very high-value and timely event for the business community.

The event opened on Wednesday with remarks from executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), admonishing attendees to glean as much as possible from the event for the advancement of their businesses.

GBPA President, Ian Rolle, opened the e-Commerce training with a call to action for local businesses. “e-Marketing, e-Commerce and a presence in the virtual environment is no longer an option but a necessity, even for small businesses, “stated Rolle.

“Bahamians are spending millions online to purchase a broad range of merchandise. The question is why aren’t Bahamian businesses selling online, not only to local or regional customers, but to the world,” declared president Rolle. “Following today’s training, GBPA will have empowered you with the information, go-to resources and the expert advice for you to be successful within the online environment,” he concluded.

Participants were treated to a full day of surprises, gifts and more importantly, essential information on how to get their businesses online.

The Port’s efforts for this initiative must be applauded,” cited Harveyann Newbold, President of the Downtown Freeport Business Association. “The seminar was timely and extremely impactful for many small businesses looking to take their operations to the next level,” she continued.

These sentiments were echoed by dozens of attendees throughout the training days. “The presenters were all excellent. I enjoyed the entire experience,” shared Ms. Clover Louise.

Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama (IGB), Derek Newbold, noted that the speaker line-up for the event was strategic.

“We looked at key factors that would impact an online operation’s success or failure. We then invited individuals with a proven track record of success in their respective areas to participate,” Newbold advised. “On both days, presenters gave extremely well executed presentations. Participants were actively engaged and appeared to enjoy themselves thoroughly. Many participants are asking when is the next initiative.” Newbold continued.

The ALL-STAR lineup of presenters included Valdez Russel of VKR Insights; Erik J. Russell of Keen I Media; Morgan Fernander of Lucaya Bahamas Investments and Michaela Perpall of Bank of The Bahamas.

Business Services Manager for the IGBSBB, LaShawn Dames, highlighted that the turnout of businesses for the event was very encouraging and residents may be shopping online with a larger variety of local merchants sooner than expected.

“This initiative was well received by the business community and we are extremely pleased by that. In fact we have already begun planning another round of segments,” Dames expressed. “Business owners were excited; they were engaged and many of them say they are ready for online sales.” 

For businesses that missed the e-Commerce training event, Newbold advises that links to the presentation videos online will be made available by early May.

ABOUT GBPA


The Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) gave GBPA responsibility for the development, administration and management, and provision of services within an area called the 'Port Area' (230 sq. miles). GBPA was mandated by this Agreement to build a deep water harbour, an industrial community and required infrastructure for the City.

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GBPA has achieved an astonishing amount since its inception in 1955.  When first created it was a Grand Bahamian business conglomerate charged not only with land and commercial development but also with all the regulatory and administrative functions of the Freeport/Lucaya.

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Firstly, I wish to thank Joan Albury and the Counsellors for this platform enabling us to share with the Grand Bahama community, the outlook for our island! 2015 marks the 60th year of the birth of Freeport and the Hawksbill Creek Agreement; 60 years of a partnership between The Government of The Bahamas and The Grand Bahama Port Authority. I'm here to raise hopes for 2015 and to lay a few popular myths to rest - For those who don't know me, I am Sarah St George.

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