Categorized | National News

Grand Bahama To Get Economic Injection

Grand Bahama set to receive much needed assistance in the wake of Hurricane Matthew that left the island in a state of economic oppression according to Minister of Grand Bahama Michael Darville.

Speaking with reports before Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, Mr. Darville noted that not only was the tourism sector affected by the storm but also the industrial sector.

“Hurricane Matthew dealt a devastating blow to our economy it affected our tourism product as well as the industrial sector.

“We’re rebounding, and the industrial sector is moving much more rapidly than the tourism sector and so those individuals that have been misplaced we are definitely working diligently behind the scenes to find a solution for them prior to going into the next general election,” Mr. Darville stated.

Elaborating on what the government is set to do for Grand Bahama, Mr. Darville also noted that as Tourism is a major industry in The Bahamas work in rebuilding that area is of importance and finding a solution to boosting the Tourism economy is being sought.

“Tourism is a key factor and the Minister of Tourism along with the senior policy advisor Sir Baltron is working diligently with some new individuals; very quietly with Hutchinson to find a solution and that is going extremely well.

“The people of Grand Bahama has definitely felt the effects of Hurricane Matthew.  It’s a natural disaster and so we must recuperate from that.  But prior to that we were seeing signs of resurgence of our economy and we are working diligently to get back on the right track and that is happening as we speak,” Mr. Darville indicated.

He also noted that as a result of the temporary lull in Tourism the island has shifted focus to expand another area which assists in rebuilding Grand Bahama through construction and reconstruction of homes after the devastating storm.

“One thing that we have been doing is we have been working very aggressively to expand our construction industry, so even though we took a hit in the tourism sector, the construction industry has grown about 25 percent which sort of equalize the economy,” he said.

Mr. Darville further noted that a plan is also in the process to recoup businesses which should come through funding and low interest loans to small and medium businesses.

“We’ve been working with the Ministry of Finance and the Prime Minister to find an economic injection that will actually boost the economy and prime it a bit better.

“We’ve learned from Hurricane Jeane and Francis that if we allow things to take its natural course it will take us a long time to recover and so we have come up with a strategy to bring economic injection into the economy for small and medium size businesses by creating some mechanism of grant funding as well as low interest loans to prime the economy again.

“The final stages of that plan is near completion and we need to execute it because in executing it we will ensure that medium and small businesses, the engine that drives the economy remains healthy and continue to progress,” Mr. Darville said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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