By MARK A. TURNQUEST
STAKEHOLDERS who focus on small business development have been unsuccessful in creating strategies/policies on how to mitigate the negative impact of the recession with regard to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Bahamas. There have been few planning activities that focus on how we are going to improve this sector’s future viability.
The SME community is at a crossroads. This vital industry (SME) has been underserved and underdeveloped since 1973. There has been no serious innovative activity to develop the industry up to 2010. SMEs are still only contributing 5 per cent to GDP (or even less) from 2007, since Philip Schneuwly, an IDB consultant, conducted the report entitled: IDB SME Final Report 2007. I had assisted Mr Schneuwly with that research in regards to non-financial organizations’ participation in the development of SMEs in the Bahamas.
Attorney Carey Leonard speaks at the Rotary Club of Freeport (09/23/10) about the path to a better future for Grand Bahama.
Remarks made by Carey Leonard at The Rotary Club of Freeport
Thursday, Sept 23, 2010
In July we started a journey, a journey towards creating a new vision, a new vision for the future of Grand Bahama. We knew from the outset that to create such a vision would require more than the Grand Bahama Port Authority and the Government, it was going to require the vision of you in this Rotary Club, the vision of all those in the Rotary Clubs, the vision of all the GBPA Licensees, of all the other businesses in Grand Bahama, from West End to Sweeting’s Cay, and the vision of all those who call the island of Grand Bahama home. You may ask why we started by coming to Rotary? This was not done in a vacuum, we came to you because Rotary is the perfect starting place. Why do I say this? Look at the principals that you operate by, your “Four-Way Test” Is it the TRUTH, Is it FAIR to all concerned, Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, and Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? For a truly holistic vision to be created all those ideals are required. No special interest group can do this; it is going to take us all.
In August we did the “Introduction to the Hawksbill Creek Agreement” and we will continue presentations that, it is hoped, will assist you in your understanding of various topics of the HCA, such as the Customs Duty Exemption for GBPA Licensees and, perhaps a review of the License Agreement between the Licensees and the GBPA.
So let us move on.
We all know that The Bahamas is attending to the negotiating process required for this country’s admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO). We know that the ‘Goods and Services’ Schedules to the WTO are extensive. We know that the Minister confirmed to the WTO that The Bahamas has begun reforming laws governing both foreign and internal, yes internal trade. We know that these reforms will result in considerably improved conditions of access for foreign suppliers of goods and services in The Bahamas. We know that the way Government procurement is done will change, and this is just the beginning.
By K. NANCOO-RUSSELL, Freeport News Reporter
THE FREEPORT NEWS, 09/23/10
A group of businesspersons who hope to bring about change by presenting an informed opinion to the government on a number of issues that will directly affect Grand Bahama have launched a website to help garner public support.
Attorney Carey Leonard recently embarked on a series of public speaking appearances, presenting information on various topics which are related to the development of the island’s economy, such as amendments to the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.
His latest address was at the Sunrise Rotary Club’s breakfast meeting at Le Rendezvous restaurant yesterday.
In the past, Leonard has encouraged residents to become more vocal about concerns and ideas they may have, stressing that the only way change can be effected is through a united front. He said he has received a significant amount of support from members of the public who have pledged to become a part of the movement.
To this end, he said, the site, grandbahamafuture.com, was created as a communication tool to help spread the message.