Planning to start a new life in Grand Bahama will be an extremely exciting time, however you may want to know what everyday life is like on this beautiful island. Here is some practical information to help you understand what life is really like here:
What does it cost to buy groceries? What's the shopping selection like? Those are top questions on the mind of anyone contemplating a second home. On Grand Bahama, you can expect to pay a little bit more than you would in, say, Florida, when you fill up your shopping cart. With the exception of some local produce and goods, most items are shipped in from the United States, and the cost of shipping and import duties (35% right now) add to the prices stores charge.
The good news though, is that the higher prices at the store are offset by the fact that you pay no sales tax-in fact there are no local taxes at all!
There are a number of terrific local resources that can help in designing, building, furnishing, and decorating your island home.
No Big Box Stores, But Lots of Experienced Local Retailers
While you won't find a WalMart or Target or IKEA store on island, you will find a wide variety of seasoned suppliers and craftspeople-you might say a disproportionately high number for such a modest-sized island
When it comes to finding fresh food, wine, and drink on the island, you can find quite a wide selection of local and international foodstuffs to satisfy your kitchen, although you may not find them all in one place!
Grocery shopping in Grand Bahama can be a bit of a treasure hunt where you may find organic fruit and vegetables at one shop, excellent imported brands at another, and an assortment of wines and spirits at yet another. In general, you will find prices somewhat higher than in the United States, for example, since costs reflect both duty and shipping charges involved in bringing goods to the island. If you look hard enough, everything is available here including gourmet items that reflect a rich multi-cultural environment with diverse ethnic choices, fresh herbs, spices, and more green thumbs.
Some of the major food shops and specialty markets here on the island include:
Butler's food world
There are also other specialty food shops around the island for that special touch:
Italian Specialty Foods
The Flying Fish
Bristol Cellars Spirits and Wine
Grand Bahama has 2 main suppliers for residential electricity - Bahamas Electricity Company (BEC) which provides about 80% of the electricity, with the remaining 20% coming from the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC).
There are several internet providers to choose from on Grand Bahama including Bahamas Wimax, Cable Bahamas and SunISP. Each company offers their own deals and incentives when you sign up to them.
Grand Bahama offer an excellent standard of education to and schooling is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. There are several public and private schools available on the island with many expat children in attendance. International schools incorporate the best aspects of European and American education practices preparing children for college and university.
Grand Bahama has 1 government operated hospital available to both residents and non-residents and five medical centers. The Bahamas provides an excellent healthcare service with the finest international physicians, nurses, technicians and technology.