State Minister for Finance Zhivargo Laing has confirmed that an initial $250,000 essential to funding the proposed Grand Bahama Business Development Board has been released, with another $250,000 of the government’s total pledged $500,000 to come in July.

He noted that several preliminary plans are expected *“to spring into action”* this summer, including a proposed Canada mission in July.

The Minister had [announced]( the plan for the Development Board in February. Yesterday, he said “*The government committed to providing fund for the board to the tune of $500,000 in the first instance, with matching funds from both the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC). Two hundred and fifty thousand now is immediately available for investment promotion through the budget of the Office of the Prime Minister and the balance will be funded in the upcoming 2011/2012 budget under debate.”*

The new Grand Bahama Development Board aims to promote investment on the island, review business procedures and offer suggestions for improving and creating strategies for the island’s broad growth and development.

Reportedly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government, the GBPA and the GBCC has already been established, calling for an interim committee to pursue promotions and other business development initiatives for Grand Bahama, while the formalities of establishing the board are undertaken.

The members of the committee will include one representative each from the government, the GBPA, the GBCC, the Grand Bahama Promotion Board, the Hutchison Whampoa Group, the Grand Bahama Power Company and another person agreed among the group from the public at large.