By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
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.