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Delay no more, Electricity Bills to increase in The Bahamas; Business community reacts

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 6, 2022 – Tourism stakeholders in the Bahamas are expressing concerns over the government’s approval for the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL) to increase its fuel charge.

The increase comes after the government had promised Bahamians on several occasions that there would be no increase in electricity prices.

President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Robert “Sandy” Sands released a statement about the issue.  Sands said that many are anxious, and some are at a loss as to how they will be able to accommodate the increase in the cost of operations.

“We have fielded feedback from stakeholders ranging from significant apprehension to outright anxiety as some have stated they are at a loss as to how they will be able to accommodate the increase in the cost of operations,” he said.

The BHTA president said: “This is very alarming, particularly for commercial consumers, which encompasses all facets of business owners and operators as they have finally begun to see the sustained recovery of their respective businesses.  It is important to remember, at a stage where the potential for growth-beyond-recovery seems imminent; the surety of a successful return to financial viability will be susceptible to disruption or even derailment because of these increases.”

The BHTA noted that it is seeking the government’s urgent assistance in softening the impact on businesses in The Bahamas, particularly the tourism sector.

The association also encourages the Government to “consider offering VAT relief applied to the fuel surcharge; beyond the newly announced threshold.”

The increase was announced by Phillip Davis, Bahamas Prime Minister on Tuesday, October 4, during a special press conference, where he explained that the government could not delay the increase any longer.

Customers using less than 800kWh will see an increase of two cents p/kWh, and those using more power will see an increase of 4.3 cents p/kWh.

Bahamas News

BMMC Groundbreaking is evidence that all Bahamians can thrive, says PM

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FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis on Thursday, December 7 noted the company is a “beacon of national pride” and evidence that all Bahamians can thrive, when giving the keynote address at a ceremony for Bahamas Mineral and Manufacturing Corporation Ltd., at the company’s site on Queen’s Highway.

The Groundbreaking and Cornerstone Laying Ceremony were held at BMMC Ltd. grounds on Queen’s Highway where the headquarters for the new establishment will be.

He said two companies manufacturing pipes, one in Grand Bahama and one in Nassau, have gone out of business, and added that this one will not. Once the company can meet the demand, it will be too costly for businesses to import the product due to tariffs.

The government is committed to assisting young entrepreneurs like Mitchell Thurston by providing the necessary tools to ensure they are not alone on their journey to success.

“This approach is not just an investment in individuals, but an investment in the very fabric of our nation’s economy and future.”

With the company being 100 percent Bahamian owned, and “perfectly aligned with our governments Blueprint for Change,” he said, “by reducing reliance on PVC products and establishing a local production facility, BMMC is not only supporting Bahamian infrastructure, but also aligning with the nation’s environmental sustainability goals.”

The ceremony heralds a future where industry and economy are strengthened.

“Grand Bahama” said the Prime Minister, “must and will be the blueprint for growth and development.”

He added, “It is a stepping stone towards a brighter, more sustainable and prosperous future for The Bahamas and all Bahamians.”

Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey described the day as “grand” in being present for the groundbreaking and cornerstone laying for the state-of-the-art facility which will “revolutionize the construction and manufacturing industries” throughout the country, especially Grand Bahama.

“This new venture envisions opening doors to innovative learning for our students, innovative careers and jobs for Bahamians and spin-off opportunities for new and existing businesses.”

She added that innovation is “critical to the growth and sustainability of our island’s economy. This is why Grand Bahama has been deemed the Home of Innovation in our Blueprint for Change.”

BMMC’s president, Mitchell Thurston, said the project was two years and eight months in the making. Grand Bahama is the perfect location for their headquarters because of the affordability and availability of land; reliable infrastructure; and the proximity to the Container Port, the gateway to the global market.

To date, 13 jobs have been created and filled and through subcontracts throughout the various phases, it is anticipated that 80 jobs will be available during the construction phase. It is hoped they will be able to have a workforce of 33 skilled and unskilled labourers.

Additionally, BMMC will introduce a cadet programme in the Grand Bahama schools, and the top students will be offered jobs to join their team.
Also present were members of the Board of Directors, shareholders of the company led by President Mitchell Thurston, along with representatives from the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, family and friends all of whom gathered for the occasion.

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Bahamas News

Potter’s Cay vendors to get help from Bahamas Gov’t after November fire

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#TheBahamas, December 10, 2023 – Victims of the Potter’s Cay fire in November, will soon be assisted by the government of The Bahamas through a credit line organized with a reputable  Bahamian company.

This is being done through the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources on a mission to rebuild the stalls lost in the fire on November 19th, 2023.

According to the ministry, they will assist with a sum of $64,823.62 which is $16,205.88 per stall, to aid business with quickly bounding back, especially given that the holiday season is near, expressed Jomo Campbell, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources.

Campbell spoke to the unfortunate incident saying,

“It was reported that a boat caught fire and drifted to the western side of the dock. As such, four stalls were completely destroyed. We thank God that there wasn’t any injury or loss of life. However, we know that the fire caused damage to the livelihoods of Bahamians and even our fishing industry, which plays a vital role to our food supply.”

Considering this and the ministry’s mission, the credit will be established with [Premiere Importers] Campbell said.

This investment also comes as Potter’s Cay dock, as Campbell pointed put, is a crucial aspect of Bahamian culture.

“It has a vital role to play in our economy,” he said.

For disasters such as this, the minister continues to highlight that the ministry is doing the work to implement preventative measures by fortifying safety protocols, carrying out regular inspections and providing training and resources to businesses in the fishing industry to better equip them to handle emergency situations.

Campbell, in responding to questions as he made the announcement in a video on the ministry’s Facebook, said that insurance for the stalls is an issue that will also be addressed going forward in the new year.

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Bahamas First Lady speaks up for Women and the Family at COP28

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, December 10, 2023 – Women face unique challenges regarding climate change impacts and The Bahamas Prime Minister’s wife highlighted this at Cop 28.  Joining her husband, Philip Davis who is widely communicating the dire need for climate action, Ann-Marie Davis, First Lady of the archipelago underlined why it’s important to also protect women against climate change effects.

In an interview with media, she spoke to how the climate crisis threatens the health of women globally, highlighting those carrying children.

First Lady Davis points out that it affects the unborn child through harmful gasses the pregnant women can breathe in, the water they drink, and their physical surroundings which may not be conducive to healthy pregnancies and births.

Davis also made sure to highlight that while women are affected differently, especially pregnant women, it’s important to protect everyone, such as men, boys, girls and children overall.

Children can be affected by disabilities and lack of proper development due to climate change impacts, she mentions.

In continuation, the first lady’s remarks compliment the fact that women are considered to be more vulnerable than men to climate change effects according to the United Nations, which says this is mainly due to them representing the majority of the world’s poor and are proportionally more reliant on threatened natural resources.

Regarding the even more vulnerable pregnant women, evidence shows that rising temperatures threaten successful reproduction. In fact, heat stress can cause stillbirths, preterm births and low fetal weight, according to Frontiers in Endocrinology, the third most cited and sixith largest research publisher and open science platform.

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