FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas — Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey affirmed the government’s full support of the Downtown Freeport Business Association (DFBA)’s thrust to revitalize the central district and bolster its economy, and added she is very excited about projects currently on-stream that will help achieve that objective.
Minister Moxey was addressing the downtown business community during the DFBA ’s meet and greet reception at Sir Charles Hayward Library on Thursday, September 15, 2022. It was the association’s first convening since Hurricane Dorian ravaged the downtown area in 2019. The DFBA, in partnership with the downtown business owners, is mandated to enhance the public’s perception of the downtown district by giving focused attention to the aesthetics, safety and security of the downtown area. The DFBA also provides continuous training for the business owners.
Minister Moxey noted that the area — once a bustling, thriving commerce centre, has had its share of challenges over the years.
She pointed out that the effects of Grand Bahama’s economic downturn, exacerbated by the effects of 2019’s Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, were especially visible in the downtown area; and that the government fully understands that the revitalization and sustainability of Freeport is an important factor in the recovery and rebuilding of Grand Bahama Island.
She added that downtown Freeport is very special to her, as she, too, once operated multiple businesses in the town centre and, she pointed out, the unique qualities of the downtown area are that it is accessible, historic and an important part of the story of Freeport.
Boasting of the district’s potential for economic diversity and growth, Minister Moxey said she is extremely excited about the projects that are underway, namely the AML Solomon’s downtown location that is near completion, and the first phase of development for the new University of The Bahamas campus in the former Kipling and International Building.
Those two projects, coupled with the new Doctor’s Hospital redevelopment not far away, a new state-of-the-art hospital on the drawing board to be constructed next to the Western Atlantic University School of Medicine and the refurbishment of the Rand Memorial Hospital for out-patient services, Minister Moxey said, are all significant investments to move Grand Bahama forward.
The administration, she said, “is working tirelessly to bring better days to the residents of Grand Bahama. In our Blueprint for Change we pledge to develop a country that thrives as the Bahamian people themselves thrive.”
In that vein, Minister Moxey said her ministry is mandated, and has created a special unit, COLLAB: Partnerships for Development, to work cohesively with organizations like the DFBA where ideas can be exchanged and partnerships forged to accomplish some of the DFBA ’s key initiatives and revive the island’s economy. The Minister acknowledged that doing so takes a collective effort that requires all hands on deck.
“I look forward to working closely with the executive board as we push forward to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our beautiful Grand Bahama,” she said.
Grand Bahama Port Authority Chief Investment Officer Derek Newbold, Assistant Superintendent of Police Nicola Sears and DFBA Vice-President Shamine Johnson also brought remarks and expressed their commitment to working together for the benefit of the business community and enrichment of the downtown experience.