In alignment with the Bahamas Development Bank’s (BDB) strategic plan, the Bank has chosen to relocate from Cable Beach to Robinson Road and Key West Street. This location change is  intended to increase the Bahamian public’s awareness and access to finance. As part of this commitment, BDB held a Town Hall Meeting at Christ the King Anglican Parish in April where The Bank launched the Englerston Community Grant  to support microbusiness development.

A total of $20,000 was allocated for this initiative aimed at supporting businesses with the purchase of equipment or training needed to scale up. By the end of the submission deadline in May, the Bank received a substantial number of applications. All applications were objectively reviewed based on the initial scoring criteria outlined weighing factors such as innovation, inclusion, community impact, outcomes, capacity building, and climate change.

Ultimately, 10 applicants with unique business proposals were successful in receiving grants of  $2,000. The awarded businesses received the highest scores during the review process, especially in areas such as innovation and capacity building. Business categories were unique and varied including mobile marketing, composting, landscaping, fashion, gastronomy, e-commerce, repurposing, waste diversion, industrial services, and facilitating Family Island capacity development.

The Bahamas Development Bank’s investment in these businesses is intended to have measurable impacts for the entrepreneurs and the wider community. The number of applications received showcased the need for finance for small businesses. Based on the demand BDB has subsequently allocated $500,000  for microloans. Qualifying businesses can access up to $15,000 in expedited, simplified financing for business expenses.