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Websites 101 Seminar Presents Global Opportunities For GBPA Licencees

Dozens of Licencees of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), are taking their companies from local to global as a result of the company’s recent “Websites 101” training initiative, held at Pelican Bay Hotel last Thursday. Eager attendees gained the necessary tools to create interactive and successful websites that customers will be more inclined to visit, allowing them to tap into a thriving online sales industry.

According to Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama, this teeming consumer pool can increase sales for businesses as persons will be able to view various products or services that a business has to offer simply by accessing a company’s website.

“We realize that many small businesses in Freeport face the challenge of sustainability due to a lack of critical mass , resulting in a limited customer base.  Grand Bahama has a population of around 55k people, while in contrast, there are more than 1.5 billion people that will purchase a product or service on line this year - creating more than a trillion dollars in spending”, he said.

Newbold also noted the importance of workshops that are relevant and impactful for local merchants who seek to develop their businesses.

“Two months ago, we conducted an e-Commerce Strategy workshop. As a follow up to that event, we felt it was important to provide our licencees with the practical tools needed to develop their own websites; now that they realize the importance of having an online presence,” he said.

Newbold went on to say, “This is just one of the many free initiatives we have been providing to our licencees and will continue to provide over the coming months and years clearly demonstrating the value of having a business license with the Grand Bahama Port Authority.”

Business Services Manager, LaShawn Dames, spoke to the importance of empowering licencees.

“Providing our Licencees with relevant and impactful training initiatives that add value to their businesses, and prepares them for greater success is important to us. We are extremely pleased with the number of businesses that participate at our events and the positive comments and feedback they provide.”

“Their participation and constructive reviews, clearly demonstrates that these initiatives are indeed creating the desired results,” Dames added.

Pleased to promote their company’s already established online presence, Bank of the Bahamas’ Merchant Associate, Michaela Perpall said the move to the internet can be a simple transition.

“We are pleased to promote our ecommerce platform, which allows business owners to receive payments into their local bank accounts.  We want to make it known that it is not as hard as it seems and neither is it impossible,” she said.

Perpall also gave rave reviews on the sessions noting the importance of Bahamian companies establishing an online presence to better serve not only locals but tourists as well.

“The sessions were very informative.  It is absolutely a must for a business to be present online.  When a tourist visits the Bahamas and they’re looking for that straw bag or a lovely piece of jewelry, why wait until they come back here?  You can just put your creations online where everyone has access and they can purchase these products.”

GBPA president, Ian Rolle emphasized the importance of companies taking that leap of faith to establish their online presence.

“Time is of the essence when it comes to businesses becoming more technologically savvy, we really wanted to encourage our licencees to establish an online presence that makes their business stand out.  It is indeed our goal to not only ensure that our Licencees are well informed, but to make certain that we do our part in equipping our business community with the necessary tools to thrive in a rapidly changing competitive landscape,” he said.

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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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE


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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THE WAY FORWARD


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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