As local businesses begin recovery and restoration plans following the impact of Hurricane Dorian, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) is seeking to engage with licensees to assess their needs.
Deann Seymour, Chief Financial Officer and Licensing Chairman of the GBPA, said: "We recognise that many of our licensees face the daunting task of rebuilding. Our commitment is to provide the necessary support for their recovery that will translate into our island's economic sustainability and demonstrate Grand Bahama's resilient spirit."
The organisation's executive further acknowledged that business owners were impacted on multiple levels with physical damage to commercial and residential property, in addition to employees who lost their homes, vehicles and other resources.
Seymour said: "The enormity of Dorian's impact has tremendous effects on the physical and emotional well-being of business owners. With this in mind, we thought to allow business owners a reasonable amount of time to grasp the full scope of the storm's impact before approaching them to address their needs.
"This storm impacted us significantly not only in managing material loss, but also in handling the loss of manpower, due to the challenges many employees have faced in their personal lives. This also impacts the recovery process and we saw it appropriate to allow licensees a time to assess their complete situations, so that when we engage with them, they have a better idea of their needs."
It has been more than one month since Dorian slammed Grand Bahama and the GBPA is making a great push to connect with licensees. Seymour says, "We have already begun the strategic process of connecting with business owners and we intend to make every reasonable effort to connect with our 2,800 licensees. This will be achieved through online surveys, door to door visits, telephone calls and business sector meetings."
As the engagement process with relevant stakeholders continues, Seymour anticipates her team will be better able to design, develop and deliver the best business relief assistance programme
"In doing this, they will explain their business needs and goals and we will listen, develop and launch the best initiatives to support their rebuilding efforts," she said.