In a heartwarming new initiative, the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) and Disney Cruise Line have tackled a longstanding challenge faced by local Bahamian vendors, allowing them to offer direct services to cruise lines. This endeavor promises a brighter future for small business owners and adds a touch of magic to their offerings.

Local vendors from the National Eco-Tour Operators Co-operative (NETO Co-op) can now confidently showcase handmade crafts and immersive island tours, thanks to a solution addressing the daunting insurance costs. Nicholas Higgs, Managing Director of BDB, expressed pride in collaborating with Disney Cruise Line and NETO Co-op, emphasizing BDB’s commitment to fostering economic growth and celebrating Bahamian culture.

Higgs stated, “Connecting vendors with crucial liability insurance and development assistance ensures they not only participate but thrive in business, reflecting BDB’s dedication to economic growth and island culture.”

Through extensive efforts, BDB liaised with partners and discussed future plans with Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point vendors. These initiatives led to a forthcoming memorandum of understanding, paving the way for further growth and support for local businesses.

NETO Co-op President, H. Rudy Sawyer, hailed the partnership as a milestone, expressing excitement over the support from BDB—the nation’s premier financial institution for small businesses. Sawyer noted the cooperative’s success in offering discounted rates and ongoing support, sharing optimism about expanding to islands like Eleuthera, where Disney’s newest destination is located.

Joey Gaskins Jr., Disney Cruise Line’s Regional Public Affairs Director, remarked, “Recognizing the global liability insurance challenge for small businesses in Eleuthera and other islands, we’re delighted to support BDB and NETO Co-op’s solution. This initiative benefits vendors throughout The Bahamas.”

What do you think about this fantastic collaboration between BDB, NETO Co-op, and Disney Cruise Line? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to spread the magic by sharing this story with your friends and family!