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e-Commerce Initiative Strategic in Preparing Local Merchants for Global Marketplace

 Last week’s e-Commerce Strategy Training Workshop hosted by the Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), was all about the empowerment of local merchants. Both days of training were filled to capacity, and according to participating Licencees the sessions could not have been more timely or welcomed.

President of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), Ian Rolle opened the e-Commerce training, admonishing attendees to absorb as much as possible from the event for the advancement of their 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. This initiative is about exposing, empowering and preparing our Licencees, and the business community of Grand Bahama to embrace the limitless world of e-Commerce,” he declared.

“The world as we know it is a global market space. We search, we buy and we ship! Bahamians are spending millions online to purchase a broad range of merchandise, “Rolle continued.

“The question is why aren’t Bahamian businesses selling online, not only to local or regional customers, but to the world? And so, GBPA’s intent by way of this initiative, is to empower our Licencees to capitalize on the immensely lucrative opportunity e-Commerce offers and to get more local businesses conducting transactions online,” he concluded.

Whilst e-Commerce Strategy attendees were exposed to a number of key information segments throughout the day; the ‘meat of the matter’ as defined by Sr. Manager of Business Development for GBPA and Invest Grand Bahama (IGB), Derek Newbold, was the presentation made by Bank of The Bahamas’ (BOB), Michaela Perpall and Leonardo Thompson. The duo outlined to attendees exactly how local businesses now have the ability to GET PAID electronically.

“With Bank of The Bahamas’ e-payment platform, local businesses can now accept payments online from any major credit card provider,” stated Perpall, BOB’s Associate of Corporate & Commercial Services. “The e-Commerce and online shopping industry is limitless, and BOB merchants with an online presence and a strong marketing strategy can literally generate revenue, even while they sleep,” Perpall added.

Equipping Licencees and business owners with the basic skills needed to capture new market space, through the use of technology, was a critical component considered as GBPA/IGBSBB planned the e-Commerce initiative. 

“Improving competitiveness, creating diversity and driving innovation within Freeport’s economy are all major focus points for GBPA’s small business bureau,” commented Newbold. “Educating local businesses on how to take advantage of the virtual environment, where annual sales are well in excess of a trillion dollars, could be transformational not only to our Licencees, but to our economy as well. Our services and training initiatives all focus on preparing and empowering businesses on Grand Bahama for success.” he explained.

Newbold added that the e-Commerce Strategy event was the first in a slate of “Empowerment Initiatives” which GBPA/IGBSBB will roll out this year. He also encouraged local merchants to take advantage of the training opportunities being offered for the benefit of their businesses.

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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