News Release HAMILTON, Bermuda – For the fourth year, the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) team at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) set out to increase economic activity within BEDC’s three Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) – Somerset, Northeast Hamilton and St. George’s – over the holiday season. Starting on November 27th, 2023Cyber Monday, through January 5th, 2024 members of the public were encouraged to eat, shop, and play in any of the EEZs for a chance to be entered into a shop-to-windraw. Anyone who spent $20 or more in any participating restaurant or store within the Economic Empowerment Zones entered into a draw for a chance to win a $500, $300, or $200 Gift Voucher to use within the EEZs.

This initiative is designed to incentivize customers to shop in the Zones, and it also provides an opportunity for the BEDC Officers to engage with the shop owners and determine how best to support them during this holiday season. “Our goal is to encourage members of the public to expand their idea of where to spend their dollars during the holiday season. There are great locations outside of the City of Hamilton that many don’t often consider,” says Donte Hunt, supporting the Northeast Hamilton EEZ.

Over 1800 vouchers were submitted during the shop-to-win draw, more than 80 businesses participated, and shoppers spent $153,645 within the Somerset, Northeast Hamilton, and St George’s Economic Empowerment Zones.

The BEDC also awarded the business owner where the winning shopper was selected, with a cash award valued at the equivalent dollar amount. The winning shoppers and businesses are as follows:

Somerset

• 1st Place Prize Winner – Tina Wilson

• 2nd Place Prize Winner – Llewellyn Simons• 3rd Place Prize Winner – Judy Outerbridge

• 1st Place Prize Business – Buds Liquor Store

• 2nd Place Prize Business – The Pit Stop

• 3rd Place Prize Business – Audio Visual

North-East Hamilton

• 1st Place Prize Winner – Andrea Shakir

• 2nd Place Prize Winner – Royce Marty Bulatao

• 3rd Place Prize Winner – Apryl Jackson

• 1st Place Prize Business – Soul Food•

• 2nd Place Prize Business – Sung Sing•

• 3rd Place Prize Business – Hairsay

St George’s

• 1st Place Prize Winner – Terri Crockwell•

• 2nd Place Prize Winner – Joanna Jackson-Smith

• 3rd Place Prize Winner – Terlena Murphy

• 1st Place Prize Business – Surprise•

• 2nd Place Prize Business – Bermuda Linen & Gifts

• 3rd Place Prize Business – The Things We Love

All winning cash vouchers can be spent at one or multiple participating locations within any of the EEZs. Dennis Carter, MSME Officer in charge of St. George’s, said, “The Christmas “Eat, Shop, Play” Shop to Win Draw has been a tremendously successful campaign. By participating in this initiative, members of the public had the opportunity to explore and get to know new restaurants and stores. It was great for the zones, great for the businesses, and fun for the shoppers, too. A win all around.”

Excited about the success of the 4thannual Shop to Win Draw, the BEDC looks forward to continuing to develop more initiatives like it that work to promote business within Somerset, Northeast Hamilton, and St. George’s. Ondreyah Rochester, MSME Officer supporting the Somerset EEZ, shared her sentiments, “The initiative in the Somerset EEZ has positively impacted the holiday shopping experience. It was encouraging to see the community’s support for local businesses, reflecting a successful and spirited season. For more information about the EEZs and the “Eat, Shop, Play” Shop to Win Draw, please visit www.bedc.bm.

About BEDC

Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s premier source of free confidential business advice for entrepreneurs. The mission is to serve Bermuda’s local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and loan guarantee support. Bermuda Business Starts Here! For more information, visit www.bedc.bm.