Categorized | Business, National News

Brewery’s Multi Million Dollar Expansion is Light at the End of the Tunnel for Grand Bahama

– In 2013, the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company revealed a strategy to the government to expand their operations but due to the possibility of increased taxes, those plans were put on hold.

However, during a recent press conference at the Ministry of Grand Bahama, Owner and CEO James ‘Jimmy’ Sands proudly announced that in cooperation with the government, phase one of the $2 million brewery expansion would begin the first week of July.

“As an expression of good faith towards the government and to demonstrate its commitment to growing this all-Bahamian business and employing many dozens more Bahamians, the brewery has entered into this expansion contract for the further growth of its business in Freeport,” said Sands, “I see great light at the end of the tunnel here in Grand Bahama.”

For over 20 years Heineken, Kalik and Commonwealth Brewery have enjoyed a monopoly on the manufacturing of beer in The Bahamas, as well as a huge tax advantage of $8 over imported beers.

The brewery, on the other hand, which has been in operation for six years, currently enjoys a $3 tax difference in the cost of manufacturing and selling Sands beer in the rest of The Bahamas. This slight advantage allows the brewery to continue to grow, survive and compete with Commonwealth Brewery in Nassau and other international breweries.

Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville, also spoke to the media at the event and said, “Today, I am happy to report that the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage have pledged their commitment to follow through with plans to expand their facilities. This is a true testament to the fact that both local investor confidence in increasing on Grand Bahama.”

He added, “This is the new frontier and I am so excited as it represents an injection into the economy of Grand Bahama and will provide hundreds of permanent jobs for skilled Grand Bahamians and contractors on the island.”

Also in attendance was Ian Rolle, President at Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA). Rolle noted that the brewery was exactly what the island needed after being set back financially during hurricane Francis and Jeanne in 2004 and expressed his delight that the company has grown and continues to bring much prosperity to Freeport. He added, “Most of the revenue from the Bahamian Brewery stays here in The Bahamas this is why we at the GBPA strongly encourage Sands to continue to contribute significantly to the Grand Bahama community.”

The expansion will be the third expansion to take place at the brewery since its inception six years ago and although the brewery owns 20 acres of land, it only currently sits on one acre. Mr. Sands noted that he would embark upon an additional $13 to $15 million worth of expansion and growth over the next five to 10 years.

The first of five phases is scheduled to begin as soon as next month and will be completed by the original builders of the brewery— Freeport Construction (FRECON) under the supervision of Bruce Silvera, President. The expansion will increase the brewery’s storage and production facilities by 20,000 square feet in totaland will lead to the creation of 15 new permanent jobs at the brewery, hiring of hundreds of skilled contractors and will inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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