Articles Tagged "cost of living in the Bahamas"

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June
20

Eco-Friendly Features - Buying in The Bahamas - Morley

Living in an island paradise gives you an even clearer view of all the ways we humans can influence our environment. The Bahamas is highly active in environmental conservation so that everyone can enjoy the islands' beauty for years to come—and so are our agents.

Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale often incorporate environmentally friendly features, most noticeable in newer construction. The Bahamas government encourages builders to consider environmental impact and will often provide incentives to homeowners for doing the same.

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June
10

Island Living Misconceptions - The Bahamas - Morley

Our agents know that few experiences are more exciting and enjoyable than moving to a beautiful tropical island such as those you'll find in The Bahamas. Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale provide buyers with all the beauty of the unspoiled tropics alongside many "mainland" amenities.

Whether you've visited The Bahamas for long periods before or simply researched it, you likely have a good idea of what to expect. Yet, some things about island living could continue to surprise you even when you've been here for quite a while.

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February
21

Tips for a Move to The Bahamas - Morley

With long sandy beaches, lively communities, and a warm, tropical climate, The Bahamas has it all. Now all you have to do is pick the right house among Nassau and Paradise Island homes for sale and settle down. Moving to The Bahamas allows you to experience the natural beauty of the tropics and explore a whole new way of living. It's a perfect place to call home for nature enthusiasts and those looking to live a more laidback lifestyle.

The Bahamas is an excellent place to vacation, but if you're looking to slow down and enjoy life's little pleasures, you'll find this island chain has much more to offer. There's a large expatriate community in The Bahamas, from meandering travelers to the rich and famous.

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October
26

You have made the best decision of your life: you purchased a home in the Bahamas. This tropical Caribbean nation happens to be an excellent place to live and work. Unlike many American cities, this nation's amazing cultural offerings don't come at the cost of a challenging job market.

The most common professions in the Bahamas are related to the tourism, financial services, and construction industries. There are a variety of other jobs that may be available in the country as well. Unlike other countries, the Bahamas is subject to less tax deduction when employees receive their salary. This nation is very welcoming toward foreigners and the process to become an eligible worker isn't very tedious. However, taking the proper steps is necessary, and you will need to apply and prove that you have a skill not currently available in the country

Working in The Bahamas

There are different permits needed depending on how many days you plan on being employed in the Bahamas. In the Bahamas, only your employer can make an application for you to get a work permit. These permits can either be short term (usually about 90 days) or long term, which is an indefinite amount of time.

In these applications, the employer will first have to prove that no locals are available to fill the vacancy, then provide a copy of your passport, colored photographs of yourself, and other essential identification documents. Applications are examined and may be accepted by the government within a week of submission once you and your employer meet the requirements.. 

Find the right market

As mentioned earlier, the tourism market is huge in the Bahamas. There are many job openings in this sector. Jobs involving engineering and finances may be available for expatriates. Check to make sure you meet the qualifications before you apply to any job. Pharmaceuticals and farming are other potential jobs in the Bahamas that have a high demand for workers.

Join job searching websites

This is a good tip for any country, especially the Bahamas. Job finder websites like LinkedIn and Indeed will help you find employment in a new country. Sometimes it can be hard to find the right opportunity, so these sites digitally pick out the best employment fit for you. 

Once you have found the right place, it is important to prepare yourself for an interview. The business culture and etiquette of the Bahamas is quite similar to the business culture of the United States. Bahamians are very welcoming people and are excited to encounter potential employees from other lands. 

Living in The Bahamas

The Bahamas have a distinct and happy culture that brings joy to all people who live and travel to this country. Bahamians are known for their hospitality and friendliness. African influences, along with some American and British aspects, have helped Bahamians develop a distinct culture that values creativity and fun. The colorful streets, the glorious parades, and lively Caribbean markets all make it clear that the Bahamas has a rich and outgoing culture. 

The Bahamas is a great place to live because of the culture, diversity, and people that live there. Public celebrations are very popular in the Bahamas, as most Bahamian citizens love to have a good time. Festivals and market events are always lively and welcoming to all, including immigrants and tourists alike. The laid-back lifestyle that the Bahamas is known for must be experienced to be believed. The beautiful landscape, warm weather, and affectionate people make the Bahamas a very attractive vacation destination and place to call home. 

Find out More with Morley

Morley knows all the basics of moving to the Bahamas. They are also experienced with helping clients land Bahamian jobs. Living in the Bahamas is a great opportunity for you and your family, and Morley Realty can help you make the move. 

September
28

Money hidden in the sand

If you are considering living in the Bahamas, this post is for you. Composed of 30 inhabited islands and with nearly 400,000 residents, the Bahamas can be an absolute paradise for those looking for a slower-paced life with an emphasis on nature and the beauty of the outdoors. If this sounds like the haven you are seeking, consider the Bahamas for your next move. 

While it would be wonderful to just pick up and move, unfortunately, that's not a realistic possibility for most people. Your job and monthly income is an important factor in deciding whether an international move is feasible and affordable, so let's examine some economic and financial data in the Bahamas to help you make an informed decision.

Average Salary in the Bahamas

Jobs in the Bahamas vary in salary just as they do anywhere in the world. Occupation, experience, and location can also greatly impact the salary residents earn per year. 

The average base salary in the Bahamas is $45,591.

Professionals with more than five years of experience tend to earn on average 36% more than those with five years or less of work experience.

More than half of Bahamian jobs are in tourism and financial services. These sectors help to develop and stimulate the economy most significantly. 

Because of this, the demand for workers in these two industries is higher than in others, and wages can be better. 

The standard workweek in the Bahamas is an eight-hour workday, five days a week. 

Other Factors to Consider in the Bahamas

When trying to determine if you can make a proper living while working in the Bahamas and keep your preferred lifestyle, these factors are important to consider in your calculations.

Housing

Housing in the Bahamas can be more expensive than average, depending on location and what type of housing you prefer. 

Nassau is a popular city for affordable apartments and single-family homes and offers a taste of the exciting city life many ex-pats still crave when moving to an island. 

Utilities are typically around 80% higher in the Bahamas than in other countries. Depending on your living situation and location, these may fluctuate as well.  

Food

Food does run more expensive than on the mainland because nearly everything has to be imported. Residents looking to save money on food can do so by shopping at local markets for fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, herbs, and more.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Most domestic goods and services are taxable at the standard rate of 12 percent in the Bahamas. This tax was introduced in 2015 as part of the efforts to reform the tax system here. VAT was implemented because most goods must be imported from other places, which can get expensive for the government. 

You can find more information on the prices of the common goods in the Bahamas that we covered in this post.

While the cost of living in the Bahamas may be pricier than what you're used to, many other factors balance out the cost of living. Tax rates, for one, are a great way to save money in other areas and apply it to your lifestyle accordingly.

Be sure to visit Morley Realty as a valuable resource for all things real estate and life in the Bahamas. Our team has years of practical experience and knowledge in the various areas of the islands, and we can advise you on what will best suit you and the lifestyle you're looking for. 

We can help with the coordination of financing, inspection setup, home insurance, and more. We are here for you every step of the way! 



September
21

man working on his laptop while he is out on the beach

Looking for a great place to start your new business venture? We appreciate your entrepreneurial spirit! Many people find there are many benefits and perks to starting a business in the Bahamas. 

Stimulating the economy, boosting tourism, and creating Bahamian jobs are a few of the ways new businesses help the Bahamas. Because of this, the government has created tax benefits and other incentives for entrepreneurs to start their businesses here. We'll be exploring those in more detail in this post. 

Booming Tourism Economy

If your new business is in the tourism sector, you're already off on the right foot! When tourism booms, so does the local economy. Over time, the more tourists and travelers that visit an area create an increase in demand for jobs in the Bahamas, bringing in additional people to work in this sector. 

This means the economy in this area experiences a huge shift and nearly every niche is in demand, from transportation services, apartment buildings and hotels, maintenance and custodial services, hair stylists, grocery and other food-based services like restaurants, and much more.

Because the Bahamas is obviously a paradise in itself, many destination management companies do very well here. These include honeymoon and wedding planners as well as typical vacation planning companies. 

Recreational companies like guided tours or undersea adventures, boating and fishing companies, and many more also see massive success here.

In a tourism-heavy country like the Bahamas, starting a business that somehow touches the tourism industry, no matter how small, will generate demand and heighten your chances of success in the region.

Tax Breaks in the Bahamas

There is no personal or corporate income tax, no capital gains tax, and no inheritance tax assessed by the Bahamas Government. There is no sales tax on goods, but there is Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services.

These tax breaks are hugely beneficial to a business starting out or just experiencing growth. You aren't putting away large portions of your revenue to pay taxes. You can invest in your company, your inventory, your commercial property, or in hiring more employees. 

The Bahamas has other business-friendly initiatives, including no corporate taxes, no annual filing or auditing requirements. 

Many businesses seek the relief the Bahamas provides for the tax initiatives listed above. Additionally, there are no restrictions on real estate purchases made by foreign investors, meaning you can purchase a commercial property space here quite easily. 

Recommendations for Doing Business in the Bahamas

  1. Create a company that falls in a well-developed sector, like tourism 
  2. Be aware of the higher cost of labor (if you plan to hire employees) and the government's involvement in particular industries 
  3. Because it is an island, local resources can often be limited or delayed. Have backup plans for urgent business needs involving inventory and staffing requirements 

While there may be some challenges when starting a business in the Bahamas, the rewards definitely outweigh the risk! You'll be creating local jobs, stimulating the economy, and avoiding tons of corporate and personal taxes along the way. The opportunity awaits you in the Bahamas if you are bold and strategic enough to make the move! 

If you're an entrepreneur thinking about moving to the Bahamas, be sure to reach out to Morley Commercial as you explore the Bahamas real estate sector. Morley Commercial is the largest commercial sales, leasing, and property management agency in the Bahamas, and our experienced agents will get you into an ideal property that will set your business up for success. 

August
17

For international home buyers who are in the market for a piece of real estate in the Bahamas, there is a lot to consider before taking the plunge. If you're relocating for work, you'll have to ensure it's an affordable option for you and your family. We've broken down some of the major costs you will face upon moving here, and some other expenses that you'll encounter in your daily life.

Home Prices

Home prices in the Bahamas can vary drastically, depending on your individual or family needs. This includes square feet, number of bedrooms, location, amenities, and more. To give you perspective, we have homes listed for less than $200,000 and upwards of $5,000,000 on our site. 

The islands are a melting pot of culture and people from all walks of life, and the real estate in the Bahamas reflects that. There truly is something for everyone; whether you want to rent a condo on the beach or purchase an island of your own — the option is yours! 

Apartments  in the Bahamas 

On average, the monthly rent for a 900 square foot apartment or condominium in the Bahamas is $1697, but it could be higher depending on the location. 

Apartments typically come furnished, which most ex-pats find to be very convenient as it alleviates the headache of coordinating shipping furniture and other belongings ahead of a move.

Cost Of Living in the Bahamas

Utilities

Electricity and other standard utilities average around 80% higher here than in the United States. For example, one month of utilities (electricity, water ) for two people in a 900 square foot apartment is around $355.  Costs go higher when you include  cable/internet, or you are using your air conditioning 24/7. 

Tax Breaks & Advantages

The tax breaks and advantages in the Bahamas can rectify the cost of living. There is no income tax, capital gains tax, or corporate taxes. 

Fees to Buy Property

There are a few fees involved in purchasing a property here, which are all important to know  when shopping for real estate in the Bahamas. 

  • Transfer Tax (VAT) – 2.5% of the property value, for a property valued at $100,000 or less. 10% of the property value, for a property valued at more than $100,000. 
  • Legal Fees - Each party pays its respective legal fee and 12% VAT thereon. Typically, the legal fee for a party is 2.5% of the purchase price.
  • Real Estate Commission – Brokerages charge 6% of the purchase price for developed land and 10% of the purchase price for undeveloped land. 

For more information on these fees and how they work when purchasing a home, visit our FAQ page.

Cost for Residency

Ex-pats can obtain an annual residency permit for $100 that must be renewed every year if they've purchased property valued at over $250,000. In order to obtain Permanent Residency, international buyers must purchase a property valued at $750,000, and then they can apply.

Transportation

If you have a car at your current location, you can ship it to the Bahamas so it arrives once you're here. You can also buy a used one on the island, or have one imported (but you will pay duty on it). 

Public transportation includes buses (or jitneys) and taxis. Many locals ride bikes. 

Food

Food costs in the Bahamas are comparable to in the United States. A few common items include:

  • A gallon of whole milk is $3.93
  • A dozen eggs are $3
  • 1 pound of chicken breast is $6
  • A hamburger meal in a fast-food setting is $12

While the cost of living may be generally higher, the real estate in the Bahamas is truly one of a kind. There aren't many places in the world that offer everything that our islands do. Bahamas real estate is a worthy investment to make, especially if your future goals include living here or vacationing here. We'd love to have you, regardless!

August
3

If you're thinking about making an international move and the Bahamas is on your list, we highly encourage you to seriously consider this tropical paradise for your future home. From warm beaches to the gorgeous water and picturesque resorts, to the occasional celebrity sighting… the Bahamas has something for everyone. 

With that said, if you are looking at properties for sale in the Bahamas, we highly recommend carefully researching an agent  to help you with your search. Real estate in the Bahamas can be tricky, and you need someone in your corner who knows the lay of the land and can help you find the perfect abode for you and your family. 

While moving here may seem like the easiest decision you'll ever make, we put together a list of positive and practical reasons why relocating here is worth the money.

1. It's a smart investment to buy in the Bahamas 

The Bahamas Government maintains an investor-friendly outlook on real estate and welcomes international investors to buy property in the Bahamas in order to stimulate tourism and boost the local economy.

Because of this, Bahamas real estate is a smart place to invest. The opportunities here are plentiful — Whether you want to relocate and purchase a long-term home, buy an investment property and treat it as a vacation home, or create an AirBNB property; these investment options aren't as readily possible for many families living in other countries. 

2. The Bahamas are just a quick flight away from the "real world"

Maybe you (or your spouse) travel for work, and you need to be able to get back to the US easily. Maybe you have family or other responsibilities in the states, but still want to enjoy all that the Bahamas has to offer. The good news is that traveling from the Bahamas is quick and easy; we're located just off the coast of Florida.

3. There are major tax advantages to living in the Bahamas

If you're looking for a country where you can get impressive tax breaks, the Bahamas is a great option. There is virtually no income tax here. There are no taxes on capital gains, individual income, personal inheritances, or dividends. 

Property taxes for owner-occupied residences are as follows:

  • On the part of the market value that does not exceed $250,000 — Exempt
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $250,000 and does not exceed $500,000 — 0.625%
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $500,000 and does not exceed $5,000,000 —1%
  • On the part of the market value that exceeds $5,000,000 —½% ($60,000 annually cap)

Tax breaks can be a huge advantage for families, business owners, and investors. The tax advantages listed above are worth considering when you make your move!

4. The Bahamas are very family-friendly 

If you're looking for a spot to put down roots for your family, and instill important values in your children like culture, curiosity, and the beauty of the great outdoors— look no further! The Bahamas has it all, from sandy beaches with plenty of water sports and activities, premiere private schools, and an ex-pat and local community that will make you feel right at home. 

5. The lifestyle is much more relaxed 

If your life is high-stress, chaotic, or you don't feel like you get to spend enough time with your family, a move to the Bahamas could change all of that. Local residents and ex-pats alike have adopted the laidback lifestyle, which can be a healthy, positive change for many people. If this is the reason you are considering relocating, you'll find exactly what you're looking for here.

If you are looking at homes for sale in the Bahamas, we understand it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. If you need guidance or advice on navigating the home buying process in the Bahamas, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We'd be more than happy to help you find the perfect home for you and your family. 

April
28

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is just over a month away, but the past six seasons have each gotten off to an early start, as we've seen. Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 - a time frame that was selected to encompass 97% of all Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes, according to NOAA's Hurricane Research Division. The other 3%? Well, they cover the months of May and December, when we've seen tropical storms and even a few hurricanes (unfortunately). 

Since 2015, at least one named storm has developed before June 1 each hurricane season, some of which have had impacts with countries in the Atlantic basin, including The Bahamas. While the National Hurricane Center has not yet officially adjusted the start of hurricane season earlier to account for these pre-season storms, beginning this year, they will begin issuing routine Atlantic tropical weather outlooks on May 15.

As with years prior, 2021 is expected to be an above-average year with regards to activity. The Weather Channel announced their predictions, which forecast 18 named storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes, and 3 of which will likely be major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). 

By now, we know the drill, but it's always good to have a reminder. As history has proven, preparation is key. If you haven't already run an assessment on your home's status, and attended to any issues in need of your attention, this would be the time to do so.

Here are a few items to cross off your list:

Check your roof

Just as we monitor our health, it's essential to monitor the health of your roof. We've already had significant rainfall over the last few weeks, so if you've noticed any leaks, this would be the time to attend to them. If you haven't seen any problems, it's still a good idea to check for potential problems. Take a look at your roof from the top. Are there any cracks in the sealant or loose shingles? Although asphalt shingles can last for up to 30 years or more, high winds, excessive rain, and tree branches can be a problem for older roofs.  If you have any questions or feel there may be a problem, have your roof checked by a qualified specialist who can confirm any suspicions and address any issues before things start to heat up.

Clean your gutters

Our homes' gutters collect debris – leaves, branches, and other materials. If you haven't had a chance to give them a good cleaning, now would be the time to make sure your downspouts are clear. Build-up can cause water to eventually flow over the edges and collect in near to foundations. Leaking under the roof will cause water damage.

Trim your trees

Landscaping isn't just to make your yard look pretty. Yard maintenance is an essential part of home upkeep – especially when it comes to hurricane season. Coconuts, over-extended branches, palm fronds can all become missiles when the winds pick up. Don't leave yourself exposed to potential damage. If you notice that a tree in your yard isn't flowering or looking healthy, have it checked out. A weakened tree can break or snap in high winds and damage cars, roofs, and other plants.

Check your drains

Another problem area when it comes to extensive rains is your drainage system. Make sure your drains are clear and free to allow for flowing water. Doing this can save your home from possible flooding, especially if you are in a low lying area.  Stock up sandbags and keep a sump-pump on hand. Seal any foundation or wall cracks with a water-proof sealant, well in advance of storms. These are all ways in which you can help protect your home against potential flooding damage.

Service your generator

Regardless of the time of year, it's always good to get a health-check on your generator. You should schedule a maintenance service on an annual basis. Doing this will maximize the efficiency of your generator. Here are some other helpful guidelines when it comes to maintenance:

– Change your oil and oil filters every 50-60 hours of use.

– Change your air filters annually.

– Change your spark plugs every 100 hours.

– Check your generator battery regularly to ensure there's no corrosion, decay, or damage.

Check your shutters

From roll-downs to metal or wooden, it's vital to ensure the shutters you use to protect your windows and doors are in good shape now. Because they have a specific purpose, they may be stored away and left until they are needed. Some materials can deteriorate over time. You may also have parts that are missing. The day before a storm is not the time you want to find this out. Run a quick check on your shutters' status and inventory to make sure you don't get caught out.

Be proactive when it comes to your home's maintenance and upkeep. It is always better for your home and wallet. Do yourself a favour and take stock of what needs to be done. Write out that list, make that plan. Book your servicing appointments and be prepared for Hurricane Season 2021. You'll be happy you did.



April
21

Earth Day is tomorrow, and the global theme is Restore our Earth, which focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world's ecosystems. With almost 365 days of sunshine along our shores, as a nation, we are in a unique position when it comes to benefitting from renewable and solar energy. As we expand our horizons, we are increasingly moving towards environmentally-friendly technologies and ways to reduce energy consumption, save on costs, and increase our sustainability practices. 

 

At Home

Our homes today are relying more on solar-powered technologies. Existing residences are swapping out the old with the new where they can, and new residential builds are incorporating these capabilities from the ground-up. 

While some are installing state-of-the-art solar energy systems, like this Turnberry home, others are introducing this technology in smaller doses to save on electricity bills and to cut back on their carbon footprint. Today, we have a host of options ranging from a solar panel for hot water or air conditioner to solar-powered sprinkler systems and outdoor lights for your yard. Even something as simple as swapping out those regular light bulbs for LED ones can help! Regardless of your budget, there are ways you can save!

 

For your Business

Across the country, many of our businesses have also started making the transition to more sustainable energy solutions - some in small ways, by changing out light bulbs to LED, replacing HVAC units with energy-efficient ones, and having programmable thermostats in offices. Others have adapted on a larger scale, with whole energy management systems and solar power systems. Going green with your business can help you cut costs on energy, but it can also have a positive impact when it comes to your company name and community relations. 

 

For us All 

On a larger scale, we've seen many initiatives unfold over the last several years to increase our green living as a country.

In 2013, the National Energy Policy was developed to connect the energy and economic sectors and create opportunities to use renewable energy in as many areas nationwide as possible. Policies outlined in the National Energy Policy pave the way toward achieving renewable energy targets for 2033, including the use of renewable energy in:

  • Transport: discouragement of inefficient motor vehicles, lowering import duties on electric and hybrid cars, encouragement of carpooling, and implementation of "effective mass public transit transport system" among other initiatives.
  • Construction, housing, offices, and hotels: energy-efficiency building code standards which include the use of efficient lighting, sustainable materials, energy-efficient building code standards. Considerations for providing incentives for constructing carbon-neutral buildings.
  • Finance: Finance ministry to develop and implement incentive programs and fiscal measures to support investment in modern facilities, infrastructure in the energy sector.

Some of these initiatives exist today, with the plans implemented and off the ground: 

Thomas A. Robinson Solar Parking Lot

In 2019, the Thomas A. Robinson National stadium officially unveiled its solar parking lot. The 925-kilowatt grid-tied solar system will displace 310 thousand liters of diesel fuel annually, which should save the island 350 thousand dollars and offset 856 tons of carbon emissions annually. The lot has 324 parking stations and an additional two electric car charge ports for electric vehicles.  

Family Island Solar Program

Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) launched the Family Island Solar Program with support from the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Carbon War Room's Islands Energy Program. This program proposes to develop "solar-fueled power systems" on the Family Islands of Andros, Bimini, Eleuthera, and Inagua with hopes of meeting 30% of the electricity by the year 2030. 

 

On the Horizon

Good news for our family, friends, and customers in Abaco and Grand Bahama! According to a report released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the initial funding for electricity restoration on islands hit by Hurricane Dorian has been bolstered by the receipt of $9.739m in grant funding from the EU's Caribbean Investment Facility. The even better news is that this restoration is set to produce a 50 percent increase in renewable energy installed and battery storage capacity for additional resilience. Some of this funding is set to be allocated to installing a 4 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant and energy storage, which will supply energy to the Marsh Harbour government complex and the Marsh Harbour's hospital. In Cooper's Town, the medical clinic will have a Solar PV plant of approximately 0.25 MW, including a storage capacity of close to 2 MW.

In New Providence, this funding will also be used to subsidize rooftop solar PV installations for a total additional renewable energy capacity of 2.5 MW. This will involve five commercial and 50 residential installations of 50 kilowatts (kW) and 5Kw, respectively, plus 20 systems for community buildings with a 100 kW capacity.

March
17

In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and with the on-going pandemic, one thing was abundantly clear. There is a dire need to extend financial services to our Out Islands. Answering that call and leading the charge in financial and tech innovation is the Central Bank of The Bahamas. In October 2020, CBOB announced their Sand Dollar's introduction - a blockchain-backed digital token pegged one-to-one to our Bahamian dollar and available to Bahamian individuals and businesses alike. This new currency is regulated and issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and allows us to buy and sell our goods and services and send money to one another digitally. 

Read more about this fascinating Bahamian initiative in the International Monetary Fund's Finance & Development publication here:  

https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2021/03/fighting-pandemic-disruption-with-innovation-dorst.htm

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