Freeport, Bahamas – For specific business categories in Freeport, the cost of starting a business just got lower, thanks to the newest business development initiative launched by The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA).
Their recently introduced, ‘Self-storage/Warehouse’, programme allows individuals in specified trades to use self-storage facilities as approved premises to apply for a GBPA business license.
Company president, Ian Rolle, explained the premise of the initiative. “It is a fact that there is a great demand to enter in to business, but the start-up costs makes it difficult for some,” he stated. “The Self-Storage/Warehouse initiative allows entrepreneurs, in specific categories, to take advantage of the benefits offered as a GBPA licensee.”
Additionally, according to GBPA’s Business Development Manager, Derek Newbold, “This initiative provides a good opportunity for reduction in overhead expenses for certain business categories. We are cognizant of the current economic climate and will continue to seek out initiatives that can provide some level of relief to small businesses.”
John Gallagher, proprietor of Albacore Storage Units, agrees. “If you take a small business person like a window cleaner, he doesn’t need to rent an office. Now he can get a storage unit, put all of his equipment in it where it’s secured and operate his business using a cell phone,” Gallagher explained.
Albacore and Broncestone Self Storeaway Unit are two on-island facilities offering self-storage units. Opened since 2000, Broncestone features 36 units in 3 sizes – 5 x 10; 10 x 10; and 10 x 20. Rental prices range from $139 - $289 per month, along with a refundable $100 security deposit.
Broncestone’s proprietress, Pauline Hepburn is equally excited about GBPA’s newest concept. “I’m open to this new initiative because these are hard times and I think it’s fair for the ‘Port’ to do this to allow others to become business owners,” Hepburn explained.
She anticipates benefiting from the program as a provider of self-storage facilities, a concept which she and her husband brought to the island after viewing similar structures abroad.
Located on Logwood Road West, Broncestone has 24-hour security coverage with controlled gate access. Units can be rented by completing a simple application form and submitting a photo ID.
Albacore’s application process is just as simple and the facility on Settlers Way offers 46 units in 4 sizes – 10 x 10; 10 x 15; 10 x 20; and 20 x 20. Monthly rental prices range from $100 - $300, along with a refundable security deposit of one month’s rent.
Since opening its doors, in January of this year, Albacore has been inundated with tenants, prompting Gallagher to convert some of his former 20 x 20 units into dual 10 x 20 units.
The new facility features coded gate access, along with individual locks on the roll-up doors for each unit and individual interior locks for the newly converted dual compartments. Complete fire-proofing, daylight only access and night-guard lighting add to Albacore’s security.
Now with the launch of GBPA’s new ‘Self-storage/Warehouse’ initiative, both storage facilities’ business owners are looking forward to increased rentals as more persons take advantage of their premises in their quest to become GBPA licensees. In fact, they’re both considering expanding their self-storage facilities as the need arises.
“ Allowing certain trades people to use storage units as approved premises to apply for a GBPA business license is a great idea,” Gallagher expressed. “I like the ‘open door’ policy and the new initiatives launched by the Port to assist licensees.”