The Abaco Chamber of Commerce held a Round Table meeting in Cooper’s Town on September 9. The purpose of the meeting was to hear about the problems of business owners in North Abaco. Supt. Hilton Cash and several of his officers were also present and explained their renewed efforts at reducing crime on Abaco.
The North Abaco residents want to know more about the port under construction just north of the settlement. They want to know if it will provide a protected port for their fishing boats when storms threaten. They asked about the ownership of the land just outside the port area, if it was Crown land or privately owned. They would like to know that they can establish businesses in that area. They would also like to know when it is anticipated that the port will open.
One person from Treasure Cay is concerned about dredging that is taking place behind the resort area. The spoil is being dumped beside the dredged channel which is damaging to marine life and will eventually migrate back into the newly formed channel. It was not known whether those dredging have adequate permits.
One person was upset that price control is telling him to reduce the prices on some of the items in his convenience store. He explained that he can’t buy groceries in Marsh Harbour, then sell them for the same price that the major grocery store was selling them for. The Chamber could not help him with this problem.
Vado Bootle, President of the Abaco Chamber, chaired the meeting and explained that anyone wanting to learn more about having a successful business can take courses online from the Bahamas Institute which is provided by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce. The Institute also holds workshops if a group is interested.
Supt. Cash addressed the group about the need for better policing. He introduced Asst. Supt. Stephanie Hamilton, who is in charge of North Abaco including Green Turtle Cay and Grand Cay. He also had Supt Ewing speak about the problem Abaco has been having with boat thefts. Supt. Ewing is a detective who has successfully arrested four who were leaders of groups stealing boats and motors on Abaco. He knows of a fifth suspect and is expecting to arrest him also. He feels that this will stop this crime.