Samples of Press Releases
Freeport, Bahamas – The Grand Bahama Children’s Home has had two very busy, challenging years – beginning with rebuilding the homes that house their children, destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, with the Grand Bahama Port Authority, followed by the global COVID pandemic that brought delays in the rebuild and in the return of the children. These challenges, of course, have brought significant financial strain and concern, necessitating a reevaluation of what survival looks like for the Home in a post-Dorian and Covid world. Thankfully, donor groups have shown a tremendous interest in the Home – not only in our rebuilding efforts but in assisting the Home by providing new buildings and vehicles, staff training and a full-time therapy program, and helping establish a network to build sustainability in uncertain times.
SBP, well-known in The Bahamas for their bright yellow ‘light bulb’ shirts, seen repairing many homes for those in need, showed up after Dorian to assist the Home. The SBP team brought with them a wealth of disaster recovery experience in clean up, rebuilding, mold remediation, and international funding support. They have also been assisting the Home with charity development support, generating GoFundMe donations and other support among its network, site inspections, and, just last month, donated a minivan to the Home for the children as well.
“SBP’s overall mission is to reduce time between disaster and recovery,” said Zack Rosenburg, CEO, SBP. “Upon learning of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home fate at the hands of Dorian, we simply had to act. We’re delighted that the children have finally returned home and that we were able to help. What could be more important than supporting children to live in a safe and caring environment where they can thrive?”
SBP recognized an opportunity to help the Home with similarly aligned benefactors and, in turn, introduced the board to Kate Rose, Chairman of the Kate & Justin Rose Foundation (KJRF), who wanted to impact the lives of the home’s children with therapy and support – something the Board had wanted for many years. The KJRF fundraised over $700,000 earmarked to fund and develop a therapy programme, to run over a 5-year projected schedule with an onsite therapist, along with a staff training program, for the 40-year-old facility.
“The Kate and Justin Rose Foundation is committed to supporting these children who have been through so much in their young lives,” said Kate Rose. “Providing therapy is the first step towards clarifying some of the main issues facing the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and its children, and ultimately encouraging these children to thrive going forward.”
It was via this connection with the Roses in The Bahamas that the third donor, the One Bahamas Fund, joined the team and immediately bridged a funding gap to speed up the rebuild as well as finance the construction, by Spartan Builders, of a much-needed separate laundry and storage facility, due to be completed by Christmas 2020. In addition, SBP has stepped in to provide walk-in refrigeration and industrial laundry facilities and replace the generator lost in Dorian. This all will help the Home more efficiently operate and manage inventory at the same time.
The One Bahamas Fund was set up as a partnership between Albany’s community, parent company (Nexus Luxury Collection), Tiger Woods, Justin Timberlake, and RBC to help The Bahamas recover from Hurricane Dorian. “The Grand Bahama Children’s Home was One Bahamas Fund’s first major project, with a with a committed donation of $300k,” noted CFO of Nexus, Jamie Winner. “It has been truly rewarding seeing the Home being built back better, both physically as well as operationally, with the tremendous help of all stakeholders.”
One Bahamas has also purchased a new bus for the Home and is slated to build a new therapy building in the new year. This addition is a great relief to both the Government of The Bahamas and the Board, who are expecting to house more children at the Home, which takes care of children, who are wards of the Government, from Abaco, Bimini, and Grand Bahama.
“If you can say there is a blessing from Dorian, these donors would be it for us,” said Mrs. Jean Hivert, GBCH Treasurer and Board Director. “Funding has always been a major challenge for the Home and, after Dorian, we knew we would need more help. This, of course, has been made all the more the case with COVID – these are very difficult times for everyone,” she explained.
“SBP has been there from the beginning,” said Sarah Kirkby, GBCH Board Director. “SBP helped us raise funds via a GoFundMe account and introduced us to international donors who were able to assist us and are still helping keep our doors open. We know reaching out to our local community is so difficult with so many in Grand Bahama struggling to survive. With this incredible team behind us, we can provide for our children in ways we had not been able to before,” added Kirkby.
Nassau, New Providence – Micro, Small, and Midsize enterprises (MSMEs), have long been considered the key economic drivers of any strong economy. In The Bahamas, companies falling into these categories represent over 90% of businesses across the country. In recent months, however, these businesses – particularly those in the Northern Bahamas – have struggled to navigate difficult economic times brought on from the destruction of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 and then the widespread impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The dual crisis has seen scores of once-thriving enterprises make the difficult to decision to lay off staff, open part-time, or worse, close their businesses altogether. Over the next few weeks, however, a new collaborative effort between The Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will give small businesses on Grand Bahama and Abaco specifically, a platform to outline their current challenges via an online survey. The results of the study will help to determine the effectiveness of current and past efforts utilized to assist MSMEs through the crisis. The survey can be found at ORGs website- orgbahamas.com/sme.
“The survey will officially launch on Thursday, November 19th,” explained ORG Executive Director, Matt Aubry. “Over three weeks, we will engage these business owners on a wide range of issues like the impact of COVID related restrictions, challenges with access to supplies after the Hurricane and how government support has affected their capacity to remain open.”, he noted.
Utilizing ORG’s relationships with the Small Business Development Center, local Chambers of Commerce, and NGO’s, the survey will be broadcast to multiple networks for completion. The survey is estimated to take 15 minutes, with anonymity for all companies. The report of results will be presented to the Ministry of Finance and the Small Business Development Center to aid future policies and legislation to garner foster sustainability and resilience of MSME’s, particularly in the instance of emergencies.
ORG had engaged Barefoot Marketing to assist them in an media campaign designed to raise awareness about the initiative, and to conduct phone surveys to help participants have even greater access to participate in the study. “We understand that many businesses may have had to relocate to smaller spaces or have transitioned into home businesses,” noted Tiffany Bain, ORG’s Research Officer on the project. “It is critical that we secure a broad and representative sample of the MSMEs that made up much of the economy in Abaco and Grand Bahama to gain meaningful and relevant information. We encourage everyone on these islands to share the survey and assist us in reaching all.”
Nassau, The Bahamas – Remy Cointreau, one of the world’s leading brands of spirits is also now part of Bahamian Brewery & Beverage (BBB) Company’s group of extensive brands. The acquisition of the world-renowned supplier took effect in April of this year and is the latest effort by the Brewery’s retail side, Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits, to expand its already impressive offerings of premium wines and spirits.
Since 1724, the French, family-run group has led the way in offering a variety of quality spirits to markets across the globe. “Just like the Remy Cointreau group, Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Co is a family-owned business with similar values. At the very core of our company’s foundation are terroir, people, and time,” said Remy’s Bahamas’ Business Development Manager, Keiani Thomas.
“We were attracted to Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Co because of similar values and objectives. Our goal is to work together with this dynamic team to develop the premium product offering in The Bahamas, and further increase both visibility and distribution of our brands.”
Through its chain of Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits locations, Bahamians will continue to enjoy access to Remy’s international brands like; Remy Martin Cognac and St. Remy, Brandy, in addition to their other premium spirits like Louis XIII, Mount Gay Rum, Botanist Gin, Bruichladdich, Ponche Kuba, and Cointreau. “Rémy Cointreau’s portfolio is exceptional. Each of these brands represents unique flavors and heritage, but all share the same culture of excellence,” Thomas.
With this new partnership, BBB plans to continue to provide its customers with products that they know and love, at new and expanded locations. “Indeed, we are delighted to have such a prestigious portfolio as a part of our offering,” said BBB Executive Sales & Marketing Manager Wellington Seymour. “Remy Cointreau with its 300-year legacy has an incredible array of products with leading brands in key categories as rum, whiskey, liqueur, gin, and cognac. Its addition complements our position with the ability to service clients from East Street to Paradise Island, brands that are ‘a must’ on bars, to brands that people are inspired to have on their bucket list. We welcome Remy Cointreau to the Bahamian Brewery Family and look forward to satisfying our consumers’ distinctive taste.”
Nassau, The Bahamas – Committed to providing a superior customer service experience, The New Providence Water Development Company (NPWDCo.) has taken the digital leap, teaming up with MobileAssist® to provide its customers with a convenient and secure bill payment platform from their mobile device. The new partnership is the latest in a series of major upgrades introduced by NPWDCo., all designed to improve the quality of products and services and to transform the way customers can engage with the company as well.
Since its inception, MobileAssist® has helped various sectors make the digital shift and has overseen the incorporation of technological advancements within the larger business community. With approximately 90 thousand downloads to date and a reputation as the fastest-growing digital payment platform, NPWDCo leaped at the opportunity to be part of the MobileAssist® family. The partnership has proven particularly successful over the past several months as lingering COVID-19 conditions have required greater social distancing protocols, allowing customers to utilize the user-friendly platform to keep current with their utility payments and prohibiting more exposure to others.
“Our customers have been very thankful for the move, especially during the COVID lockdowns where customers could not leave their homes or were out of the country. Thanks to the app, they were able to access their accounts remotely and still pay their bills on time and with receipts” explained NPWDCo. CEO Andrew Symonette. “We receive an instant notification that a payment has been made and by whom which makes it much easier to apply the payments securely and correctly to our customers’ accounts,” Symonette noted.
During July and August, the partnership also allowed NPWDCo customers to win prizes simply for downloading and using the app. For Contest winner Tonia Bain, using the MobileAssist® app not only gave her an efficient way to pay her bill but also access to a few of her favorite products in the prize package curated by the company. “The process was very easy from downloading the app, to logging in and setting it up” she noted.
Customers interested in accessing the payment app may do so free of charge by visiting their phone’s Apple Store or Google Play Store and downloading it directly to their device. To get started, users simply download and register on the app, then set up their Mobile Wallet. The Mobile Wallets can either be loaded with any major debit/credit card or topped up (with cash) at one of the designated TopUp locations. Once the process is complete, users must simply tap the bill pay icon, select the desired company logo, enter his/her account details, and hit pay.
“Using MobileAssist® to pay my NPWDC Bill saves me time and is most useful during these COVID19 times,” Bain said. “This is an awesome tool to have, from notifications to making payments and instant record-keeping; this works for me.”
CEO James ‘Jimmy’ Sands described Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19 as a trip in the ring with Leonard “Boston Blackie” Miller, and receiving not one but two of his signature ‘bola’ punches.
Gary Sands,(Jimmy’s son), executives, and staff of the Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company Ltd., (BBB) have made significant progress in restoring Sands Beer and are looking to have it available in late September. Brewery executives began cleaning the state of the art facility and liquor store immediately after Hurricane Dorian, which inundated the plant with a 4ft surge of seawater in September 2019. Jimmy reached out to his technical advisors from Germany to help him rebuild the brewery.
While aiming for a May relaunch of the famous Sands Beer, the Brewery was unfortunately sidelined by the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, forcing the highly skilled German team to return home. As local restrictions have begun to roll back, BBB’s plans for full restoration are finally back on track and the German team is on the island and completing their work on the plant.
To limit the team’s potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and to avoid any further delays with recovery efforts, Jimmy took every precautionary measure to ensure pre-travel COVID-19 testing.
“Our company Brewtech has been a technical partner of Bahamian Brewery from the very beginning and over the years a close relationship has developed,” said Brewtech Commercial Director Andrea Baumeister. “It was a shock to see what hurricane Dorian had done to the brewery, so I am glad that we were able to send our team and get back in the flow. Now we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Conscious of the country’s regulations and guidelines, the brewery has taken painstaking measures to adhere to all the necessary COVID-19 protocols, explained BBB GB General Manager, Donny Delahey. “The entire team was tested and we secured the necessary travel clearances to enter the country; and of course we’re continuing to observe mask-wearing protocols and social distancing with the consultation team and our staff.”
With work now in full swing, Bahamian Brewery is one step closer to reintroducing our consumers’ favourite Sands and Sands Light. Bush Crack, High Rock lager, Strong Back Stout, Triple B malt, and Sands Radlers will be produced at a later date.
“We have been blown away by the support and loyalty of our customers during this time and by what you all have done thus far – it’s a miracle,” noted the CEO while speaking to his Grand Bahama staff last week. “I’m doing my best and with the help of you all, we will get some normalcy back. We need to stay disciplined, focused, and together we will float this boat!”
With the first batch of Sands already being brewed for the end of September bottling, on a now faster and larger producing system, Jimmy Sands is getting off the mat with his head held high. “We will once again as Bahamians stand tall, and pride ourselves on the accomplishments that we have displayed during this long relentless round.”