Focused on the Business Outlook Series 2021 theme “Facing Unprecedented Times: Recover. Adapt. Advance”, the 9th Eleuthera Business Outlook (ELBO), covering Mainland Eleuthera, Harbour and Spanish Wells, is on schedule for August 12th and is being offered free to all registrants. Beginning at 9:30am, the virtual forum’s agenda features two top Cabinet Ministers addressing several of the most salient issues in The Bahamas today—Tourism recovery and advancement and infrastructural modernization, with special reference to Eleuthera. Also confirmed to make significant contributions to the forum  is a slate of well-informed speakers from across The Bahamas economic spectrum and a representative of a major foreign investor.

Founder and chief organizer of the Bahamas Business Outlook, Joan Albury, President of TCL Group spoke to the composition of the agenda, which is divided into two sessions.

“Headlining will be Minister of Tourism & Aviation, the Honorable Dionisio D’Aguilar, MP, whose keynote will address the burning issue of the day—how to bring about our tourism industry’s recovery, adaptation where necessary and its further advancement. Also confirmed for the forum is Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Desmond Bannister, MP whose focus will be  “Ways to Innovate Eleuthera, Harbour Island, and Spanish Wells Infrastructure”. Joining the government members, we will have a group of well-seasoned professionals who will speak to what is needed to maximise the productivity of the Eleuthera Mainland, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells. Overall, our agenda addresses the major aspects of the Eleuthera subgroup’s value to the national economy, its potential to contribute even more and what is urgently needed to increase productivity and realize that potential more fully. There will be a question and answer period and I hope Eleutherans and other interested persons will register for the Eleuthera Business Outlook and ask questions. Participation is absolutely free,” Mrs Albury said.

Thomas Sands, President of the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce, which is a dedicated supporter of the Outlook hailed the forum’s 2021 agenda.

Also a rostered speaker, Mr Sands noted, “The Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce and I, personally, have supported the Eleuthera Business Outlook since its earliest days. We appreciate the sensitivity of organizers to the genuine needs of each community the BO series covers. This is especially so this time.

“Indications are that Mainland Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells will continue to play a major role in the recovery of the economy of The Bahamas. To encourage and maximize this recovery, the upgrade of the existing but poor infrastructure on the island from North to South is critical to the country’s success. Airlift is critical to economic recovery, with the North Eleuthera Airport now amongst the busiest in the country and in dire need of upgrades. What are the realistic timelines for the North Eleuthera Airport upgrades?  Some portions of the Eleuthera Highway have been replaced over the past months. Why only portions and not consistently over entire stretches from one town to another? Is there a plan to complete the entire Highway? What is the plan for streets within the towns? These are some of the questions for the Government, and we are looking to the two Cabinet Ministers on the ELBO programme to enlighten us,” Mr Sands said.

As indicated, speakers’ attention will be turned on Eleuthera business development, the proposed Disney project at Lighthouse Point and issues of health and safety in the prevailing pandemic, on the Sand Dollar, The Bahamas’ new digital currency, food security and technology. Speakers and their topics will include: “The Creation of the Eleuthera Business Hub”, Thomas Sands, President, Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce; “Update: The Plans for Lighthouse Point”, a Disney representative; “Food Sovereignty is Attainable”, Deon D. Gibson, Sustainable Agriculturalist; “Healthcare in a COVID Environment”, Dr Charles Diggiss, President and CEO, Doctors Hospital Health System;

There will be two panel discussions: At 11:00am,“Restarting Tourism” , with presenters Algernon Cargill, Dir. of Aviation, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation; Kerry Fountain, Exec Dir., Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board; Janet Johnson, CEO/Exec. Dir., Tourism Development Corporation, Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and at 1:00pm “Digital Currency and Alternative Banking”, Panel: Kimwood Mott, Project Manager-Digital Currency Implementation, Central Bank of The Bahamas; Khalil Braithwaite, Chief Marketing Off., Kanoo and Jeffrey Beckles, Managing Dir., Island Pay; “Using Technology to Stimulate Growth”, Chantelle Sands, Head of Family Is. Business Account, Cable Bahamas Business Solutions.

Moderating Sessions 1 & 2, respectively, will be Kerry Fountain, Exec. Dir., Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board and Ryan Austin, Proprietor, COCOA Coffeehouse. Rev. Allison Dean will open the day with a prayer, followed by The University of The Bahamas School of Music rendering the National Anthem.

Joan Albury spoke further on Eleuthera’s importance, not only to members of the local communities but also to The Bahamas as a whole.

“Those who know Bahamas history know how important it is for decision-makers, Bahamians in general and potential investors, both local and foreign to appreciate the contribution the islands of Mainland Eleuthera, Harbour Island and Spanish Wells have made and can make going forward to the growth of our country. Harbour Island was once the informal capital of The Bahamas and a major boat building centre and is today a hot-ticket draw for investment in resorts and second home ownership. Mainland Eleuthera is significant in the same way and was known for agricultural exports, as Spanish Wells has been and still is for fisheries exports,” Mrs Albury said.

TCL’s president thanked the forum’s sponsors and supporters. “I’m deeply grateful to the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and all our generous sponsors, enduring supporters and my sterling TCL team in helping us maintain these forums that provide expert, trustworthy and necessary information to Bahamians and interested persons everywhere the Worldwide Web covers,” Mrs Albury said.

Those interested in attending the Eleuthera Business Outlook 2021 on August 12th may register, free of charge at www.tclevents.com.