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GBPA’s BTS DJ Jam Fest Promotes BUY Local

The Downtown area buzzed with excitement as executives of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), and its Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB), hosted its ‘Back to School DJ Jam Fest’, on Pioneers Way. This event was the first in a series of family centered activities planned for the month of August, to promote shopping local for back to school.

As shared by GBPA President, Ian Rolle, "Back to School Family Fridays (BTS Fridays), is an initiative of the IGBSBB, created to stimulate economic activity for Licencees, deliver a value based shopping experience for locals, and provide clean, fun entertainment for families and individuals," cited Rolle.

"It is common that families travel, especially during August, to prepare for back to school,” he added. “We hope that as a result of initiatives such as the BTS Fridays, more Bahamians will shop at home and we can keep a portion of the millions injected into the US economy each year here at home. Our objective is to empower our Licencees by creating opportunities for them to improve sales, as well as to encourage residents to invest in the economy by supporting local businesses. With each initiative, I believe our BUY Local, SHOP at Home message is resonating.” Rolle continued.

The BTS Friday’s DJ Jam Fest featured a prime line up the city's finest DJs, beginning with Geo of DOVE 103.7, who wowed attendees with his radical repertoire of gospel music. Prizes and giveaways kept attendees engaged throughout the evening.

Event organizer and Business Services Manager for the IGBSBB, LaShawn Dames shared her enthusiasm for the remaining events. "BUY Local, SHOP at HOME is the message of these events. Merchants are really going the distance to make shopping at home a worthwhile experience, so why not support them,” she expressed. Merchants are offering coupon incentives of up to 50% off at participating stores. Coupons can be downloaded at for the entire month of August. Additionally, participating stores are extending their shopping hours and offering a variety of quality new inventory. We are extremely pleased with their participation.

Residents can expect more fun activities each Friday this month continuing with Jazz in Churchill Square complemented by a Wine Tasting, this Friday August 12th.  It promises to be an event for all jazz and poetry enthusiasts. On Friday August 19th there is a vocalist competition, offering a 1st place prize of $1,000; 2nd place is $500 and 3rd place is $300. Aspiring vocalist can register at  to register their participation. The finale event is the 'Wet & Wild Summer Fest and Downtown Movie Night, scheduled for Friday, 26th August, hosted in partnership with the Downtown Freeport Business Association (DFBA). This event promises lots of wet and wild fun activities for kids and prizes for adults.

According to Dames, the evening was an amazing one, which saw DJ Freeze, Da Barber and Daddy Steele perform as a fabulous trio that rocked the crowd for nearly two hours. "If you missed it, you missed an awesome experience!" Dames concluded.

Sr. Manager of Business Development and Invest Grand Bahama, Derek Newbold, noted that GBPA is excited about the BTS Fridays initiatives and feels that shoppers and merchants will both benefit. "BTS Fridays is about creating opportunities that empower our Licencees, and encourage consumer spending" he said. We want to create a win/win for both; and the support of both is essential." Newbold explained. This initiative, which provides free entertainment for residents, continues an excellent trend to sustain and grow businesses, while encouraging residents to invest in the economy by supporting local merchants. We’re very proud of that,” he concluded.


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.



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.



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.