The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved $4.9 million in loans to Virgin Islands small businesses during the first six months of fiscal year 2017, which is a $3.3 million increase over loans delivered during the same period in fiscal year 2016.
“These loan results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 reflect the dedicated efforts of our staff and resource partners to help foster the Virgin Islands’ small business community,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo. “These numbers also confirm that entrepreneurship is at the core of the islands’ economic development and continues to be instrumental in achieving self-sustainability.”
As of March 31, 2017, loans in the territory were delivered under the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty program, which is the agency’s primary lending vehicle. It provides long-term financing to acquire equipment and machinery, inventory, fixtures and accessories, to make renovations, purchase land, build new buildings and purchase existing businesses. It also helps with the repayment of debts.
“The SBA is committed to helping Virgin Islands entrepreneurs gain access to the financial assistance they need to get started, grow and create the jobs that will help the economy move forward,” Collazo said. “We continue strengthening our strategic alliances with local community-based organizations and government agencies to provide the necessary resources to existing and potential small business owners.”
The SBA has two offices in the V.I. The senior area manager for St. Thomas-St. John is Hipólito ‘C.J.’ Castro, who can be reached at 776-3206, ext. 3004. On St. Croix, Senior Area Manager Wayne Huddleston can be reached at 718-5381.
Any individuals interested in business counseling or technical assistance, should contact the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center, led by State Director John Osoinach, at 776-3206.
For more information on SBA programs and services, visit www.sba.gov/pr.