Chamber launches initiative to help firms impacted by natural disasters

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, has launched an initiative focused on helping small and medium-sized businesses impacted by natural disasters restart their operations.

The initiative, called Restore Bahamas, is an extension of the work began by the BCCEC after the passage of Hurricane Joaquin in 2015. The BCCEC assisted with the restoration of businesses on the affected islands.

“As a result of identifying access to funds as a critical need, the BCCEC not only recommended business-friendly policies to the government, but worked with partners such as the Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas to raise approximately $450,000 to help defray the costs of restoration,” noted a press statement from the BCCEC.

“While the committee leverages BCCEC resources, including nine chambers of commerce throughout The Bahamas, the funds raised are managed and audited independently.

“Restore Bahamas follows a strict due diligence process, employing open, robust and transparent best practices, designed to facilitate and sustain strong relationships with trusted private, public and civic sector partners.”

The statement added that Restore Bahamas is now working with the presidents of the Abaco and Grand Bahama chambers of commerce to see how it can help rebuild the business communities on those islands.

Restore Bahamas Chairperson Hubert Edwards said in the press statement that the reconstruction of the small business communities on Abaco and Grand Bahama, because of the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian, will require a large injection of capital.

“Small businesses are an engine for economic prosperity and are the backbone of the Bahamian economy,” said Edwards.

“Our mission at Restore Bahamas is simple, we help small and medium-sized business owners open their doors and get people back to work as soon as possible, to restore commerce and rebuild communities after natural disasters. Restoration of commerce is a natural and critical means of extending the humanitarian phase of rebuilding our islands.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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