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Small Business Centre Moves On Disney Project

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

THE Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) yesterday said it was moving to ensure to ensure Bahamian entrepreneurs are well-placed to exploit Disney's proposed Lighthouse Point development.

Davina Blair, pictured, the SBDC's executive director, told Tribune Business that the small business incubator - working with the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce - plans to meet with Disney to develop plans for the inclusion of small businesses prior to the signing of a Heads of Agreement with the Government.

"We want these plans to be included as part of the formal expectation," said Ms Blair. "We will be in Eleuthera for town meetings in collaboration with the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce from November 13-15 to launch Access Accelerator, SBDC.

"We hope to commence discussions with Disney prior to that to give real expectations to entrepreneurs with an interest in the project."

Lighthouse Point is a 700-acre peninsula located at the southern tip of Eleuthera. Disney Line Island Development's proposal for the site was approved by the Minnis Cabinet's National Economic Council this past Friday.

The decision came despite calls from Disney's competitor, Lighthouse Point Partners (LPP), for a 60-day delay to give it an equal opportunity to present its proposal for the property to the public. Disney has already taken steps to acquire the site for the construction of its cruise passenger beach break destination, promising a $400m spend.

The SBDC, a non-profit entity which launched back in September, is a partnership between the University of The Bahamas (UB), the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) and the Government. It is designed to build the institutional framework and support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in their initial development stages.

Comments

VDSheep 2 years ago

Just make sure Bahamians benefit from this deal – you need to see the letter of agreement signed by the give away government! Don’t let them ruin the environment and take out all the money too!

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ThisIsOurs 2 years ago

You asking the wrong person to independently check up on Minni. Minnis don't give nobody power who doesn't fall in lockstep with him.

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Economist 2 years ago

I seriously doubt that Bahamians will be able to get anything other than a few "servant" type jobs. Look who will own the land and control the operation. Look who will require liability insurance, in a sum few Bahamians can afford, in order to do business.

Look at who will be able to set the rent rates. Often rent has a base and then a percentage of turnover, not profits, turnover. Bahamian entrepreneurs will have a very tough time.

This is for waiters, bar tenders, waitresses, and some maintenance workers. All the real money will go to Disney.

Bahamians will get the scarps, nothing more.

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ThisIsOurs 2 years ago

Surprised to hear you say that. TheCEB bill will have the same result. It's written (poorly) by two people who structured it for foreign labour. The only time they realistically mention Bahamian jobs is in relation to "spinoff jobs", aka maids.

I'm going to bet that the persons EMPLOYED by the SBDC will be the benefits of any business opportunity. The Chamber, BAIC, BOB and Development bank work the same way.

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