Of 200 businesses on Grand Bahama surveyed by the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, 63 percent said they had no insurance whatsoever, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce President Gregory Laroda revealed yesterday.
Laroda said almost immediately following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce released a survey in order to glean what businesses on the island needed most following the storm.
According to Laroda, the survey revealed that 90 of the businesses were still closed and of those closed businesses, 13 percent were either unsure they would reopen or had decided not to reopen at all.
The survey also revealed a 22 percent decline in employment because of those closed businesses and a rising number of unemployed due to the number of businesses that still remain closed.
“The Freeport section of the island, where the main district is, you might get a false impression of the damage to businesses,” said Laroda.
“A lot of the structures didn’t receive significant damage, but the same could not be said for flooding.”
Laroda said many businesses received up to nine feet of water and lost equipment, inventory and furniture.
He explained that businesses called for duty concessions or value-added tax waivers to help with the replenishment of equipment and building reconstruction materials.
Laroda said there was also a call from the Grand Bahama business community to have the government extend the tax-free economic zone to the entire island, which he thanked the government for.
“It’s going to take a lot for them to come back,” said Laroda.