Bacardi has pledged $1 million to assist micro and small businesses in Grand Bahama that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian, aiming to help about 40 businesses with grants of up to $10,000.
A press statement on the Bacardi support said the rum company has partnered with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA), the American Red Cross and Mercy Corps International in order to make the disbursement of the funds possible through the Restoring Industries and Sustaining Employment (RISE) grant initiative.
“Bacardi has pledged to put close to $1 million behind the relief and reconstruction plan in Grand Bahama through our partnership with Mercy Corps and the Grand Bahama Port Authority,” said Chief Executive Officer for Bacardi Limited Mahesh Madhavan in the press statement. “We aim to directly support more than 40 businesses, helping them to rebuild and stand on their own two feet, and to support hundreds more with access to training.”
The initiative is available to all small
businesses that were affected by Dorian with a focus on the hospitality and tourism sectors.
The statement noted that RISE has already awarded $160,000 in grant funding to recipients who will also receive training and access to Mercy Corps’ mentorship platform, MicroMentor.
“Thanks to the contribution from Bacardi and others, the initiative can now support 200 business owners, doubling the original target,” the statement revealed.
GBPA Director Henry St. George said in the statement that Bacardi’s contribution will support businesses just as significant new foreign direct investment is entering the island.
Both Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have large projects beginning or in the pipeline for Grand Bahama.
“Their assistance will buttress an industry vertical in which we foresee significant new foreign direct investment over the coming months and one in which we forecast sustained growth in the medium term,” St. George said.
“We are all so very grateful to have Bacardi on board, their generosity will make a really meaningful impact on the revitalization of Grand Bahama’s economy.”
Some grant applicants who have already been successful are Stephanie Ferguson and Buffie Dorset, president and partner respectively at Phoenix Brokerage and Shipping; Sherica Smith-Pinder, co-owner of Shabo’s Conch Salad; Charles Wayne Hall, owner of Local Organics Limited and Capt. Patrick Cartwright, owner of Triple ‘A’ Boat Care & Maintenance.