Bahamian business owners are being recognized for adopting practices that save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
During a reception recognizing ten businesses that have implemented various energy-saving features, Minister of Economic Affair, Senator, Hon. Michael Halkitis said that these persons were being celebrated because they were making a positive impact in the world of energy efficiency. The event was held at Baha Mar Convention Centre on March 22, 2023.
“This ceremony represents the result of weeks of hard work by the Access Accelerator team, who have been working diligently to select the businesses that have had the highest impact in energy efficiency after heeding the call to have their businesses studied,” he said. The Minister also invited all start-ups and existing businesses to find ways to incorporate energy efficiency into their businesses.
According to Executive Director of the Small Business Development Centre, Samantha Rolle, the initiative is part of the 11 initiatives under the guaranteed loan program furnished by the Inter-American Development Bank, which will be launched this year. The initiative will impact a cross-section of sectors in the economy, including food service, export readiness, fitness and wellness, hospitality, women in business and other sectors. She said that for this initiative, over 600 applications were received and after a strict process, ten businesses were selected with the top three receiving a cash injection into their businesses, a free audit and an energy plaque.
Many of the businesses used LED lighting, solar-generated devices, recycling processes and energy efficient appliances to decrease their energy cost. In addition, some business owners implemented protocols such as using a timer to schedule the optimal timing for high use/low use needs, or shut down or reduced their energy output while not in use, such as when the business was closed for the day. They also used ductless air conditioning units instead of central air conditioning systems. These were among some of the ways they were able to reduce costs and decrease their carbon footprint.
The top ten businesses included: New Life, The New Duff, MGS Grocery Store (Long Island), Perfec-Ton, Best Energy Bahamas Ltd., A & M Electrical Supplies (Long Island), Sawyer’s Studio, H. Russell Convenience Store (Andros), The Promise Institute and J & M Island Shop Consultants (Eleuthera). The top three also received grants in the amounts of $5,000, $7,000 and $10,000 to assist with their businesses.
By BETTY VEDRINE/Bahamas Information Services