covid-19

Five Unique Ways That Small Businesses Have Pivoted in The Bahamas

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken an economic toll around the globe, and The Bahamas is no exception. In these difficult times, it's inspiring to see how businesses acted quickly and innovatively to diversify their business models to help the country in new ways.

1. Virtual Tours

Although virtual tours have been used in real estate as a form of convenience for years as a way for prospective clients to get an idea of a property and its features, the safety measures that have been put in place as a result of the Covid pandemic to avoid social gathering have made virtual tours a necessity for the real estate industry. 


The versatility of virtual tours is what sets it apart from in-person tours. With virtual tours, prospective clients no longer have to physically be in contact with agents when choosing their homes; they can view these properties from the comfort of their own homes and conduct their own process of elimination that way, saving both parties valuable time.

Whether it's a large commercial office space, or a contemporary condo development, Bahamas Realty agents can offer their clients virtual viewings, personally “walking” their clients through a property. And for many of our listings, we offer 3D virtual tours using state-of-the-art Matterport technology. [View some of our tours here]

 

2. Masks

Mask wearing in public has become a part of our daily life - at least for the foreseeable future. Medical-grade masks are reserved for health professionals, so many local businesses and even individual entrepreneurs are getting creative, producing masks & face shields creating a new product in an in-demand market.

A few businesses that have found new industry in mask production:

  • Bahamas Hand Prints is known for its beautifully handprinted fabrics and uniquely Bahamian-inspired designs and like other small businesses, they have taken advantage of the need for masks. Bahamas Hand Prints has combined its passion for creating wonderful designs and taken it up a notch by creating fashionable masks with signature fabrics, making them recognizable and setting them apart from regular disposable masks. The masks are “available in assorted prints and colors” and are also machine washable.
    Woman wearing face mask
     
  • Signarama Bahamas, known primarily for their signage (like Bahamas Realty's custom property signs), window clings, and vehicle wraps, have added custom face shields to their product offering which can even be personalized or branded with company logos.

 

 

3. Hand Sanitizer

John Watling’s Distillery located in Nassau, Bahamas decided to shift its business to accommodate the Bahamian people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Acknowledging that the business has an inventory of Ethyl alcohol, co-founder, Jose Portuondo told Eyewitness News that the distillery decided to shift its “business to meet the needs of [the] community and those on the front line.” The distillery still produces its famous rums and vodkas, but hand sanitizers are an additional priority. The distillery has also donated many bottles of the sanitizer to local food distribution centers such as Hands for Hunger and The Bahamas Feeding Network to help ensure the health of all Bahamians.

4. Remote Fitness

Some fitness facilities have understood that in-person group classes are not conducive to limiting social gathering, so as a way to stay in business and still motivate people to stay on track with their exercise routines, fitness facilities are hosting virtual fitness classes via Zoom. Both parties benefit from this.

An example of the shift in fitness is Bowflex Barbie Fitness, a fitness company specializing in personal and group training. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, this company hosted in-person one on one and group classes but after seeing the demand for at-home fitness programs, Bowflex Barbie Fitness now provides virtual group fitness classes.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Team Bowflex Barbie Fitness (@team.bowflexbarbiefitness) on

 

5. Online Ordering & Delivery Services

Online ordering app

Delivery service is not a new concept to many, but The Bahamas has been slow to embrace the convenience service; however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, more businesses have decided to offer delivery and curbside pickup options to properly abide by the guidelines set in place by the government of The Bahamas. Businesses like Bahamas Office and School Supplies (BOSS) which offer business, school, and art supplies (essential for virtual learning!), and Ports International, which sells medical supplies and equipment, have built new websites with online inventory and convenient ordering. Other food and grocery businesses like Discount Distributors, Kraven and Bahama Eats have developed mobile apps in recognition of the need for online ordering and delivery services.

The owner of Discount Distributers, Ryan Turnquest, told Eyewitness news that before the pandemic their app “averaged maybe 10 orders a day, now [they] are averaging 100.” People are satisfied with utilizing services that do not require them to leave their homes.

 

State of the Luxury Market: The Caribbean

State of the Luxury Market: The Caribbean
LPI Connected Conversations

State of the Luxury Market Podcast

Bahamas Realty Director, Andrea Brownrigg was recently featured in an exclusive podcast from Luxury Portfolio International for members around the globe with an update on what's happening in high-end island markets. The conversation covered how COVID-19 has affected the demand for resort properties, the kind of properties and amenities that buyers are looking for right now, and how real estate business is being conducted in these second-home markets.

Key takeaways:

  • For luxury buyers, the pandemic has created an increase in demand for large, private estate properties with access to an outdoor lifestyle that's safe for the family.
  • The demographics of buyers hasn't changed, despite the challenges in travel.
  • Virtual tours and online life has changed how business is done, including how property transactions take place. Buyers are now purchasing property that they have "toured" without ever setting foot inside.

Andrea was joined by our LPI affiliate, Bernadette Hunt, of Turks & Caicos Property., and Anne Colvin, Director of Member Services for LPI.

Catch the whole conversation on Vimeo, Spotify or Apple Podcasts: LPI Connected Conversations.
 

Watch                Listen

 

MORE: Luxury Portfolio International recently released a first-of-its-kind report on the State of Luxury Real Estate globally. Read more here.

Good News for Fully Vaccinated Travelers to the Bahamas

 

The Bahamas is Eliminating COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Vaccinated Visitors.

Effective MAY 1STFlying to the Bahamas

Effective May 1st 2021, international visitors traveling to The Bahamas from other countries who are fully vaccinated and have passed the two-week immunity period will be immediately exempt from testing requirements for entry and inter-island travel. 

Travelers who are fully vaccinated will still be required to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa. Visitors to the Bahamas can apply for their Health Visa and upload proof of vaccination at travel.gov.bs (click on the international tab). Keep in mind that the visa takes up to 48 hours to process.

 

Beach in the BahamasUnvaccinated visitors above the age of 10 must continue to follow the existing entry testing requirements, including providing proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days prior to arrival.

More information on Bahamas travel and entry protocols can be found at https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening.

 

Comments

  1. Brian Austin on

    I live in Florida. Can I travel to Bahamas without any quarantine or delays. I am fully vaccinated.
    • Bahamas Realty on

      Yes! You will need to upload proof of vaccination (such as CDC or government-issued vaccine record card) and apply for the Bahamas Heath Visa, which can take up to 48 hours to process. The vaccination must have been taken at least two weeks ago to ensure immunity. There is no quarantine required.