Categorized | National News

DPM Urges GB Business Owners to Return Home

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest stressed the need for Grand Bahama and Abaco business owners to return home if the hurricane bruised economies are to fully rebound.

Following Hurricane Dorian, Grand Bahama and Abaco business owners have created serious concern for the government, as some of them are not willing to return home to rebuild their businesses post Hurricane Dorian.

Addressing the issue yesterday, Turnquest assured that the government is doing all it can to incentivize and encourage all businesses to return to the islands devastated by the hurricane.

“As you would know, the prime minister has indicated that there is a package of incentives that we’ve put forward through loans, through grants, through joint ventures and through private sector lending and commercial banks and other agencies,” he said.  

“We’re putting together this whole package to try and support the entrepreneurial class so that they do come back and we make it as inexpensive for them to get back into business.” 

After all, Abaco and Grand Bahama contribute 18 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.

Since their evacuation to New Providence, some Grand Bahama and Abaco residents have returned home.

Turnquest, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, expects the majority of evacuated residents to be back soon. 

“Persons returning to Abaco have been a little slower and that is because of the scale of the destruction and the fact that there are no amenities if you will,” Turnquest said. 

“But I think even the people are starting to turn their attention to rebuilding.  So very shortly we hope to start seeing the merchant class start to move in and get things going.”  

But there are Ragged Island residents, who are still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Turnquest insists that no focus has been taken away that island.

“As you know the prime minister outlined a vision for Ragged Island and as far as I am aware, that is still very much on track and so hopefully, they will start to see the kind of results that they wanted and that they expect to have,” he said.  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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