Owners and operators of small V.I. hotels can find out about available low-interest business development loans for improvements and expansion at a "Small Hotels Economic Development Summit” this week in both districts, according to the V.I. Economic Development Authority.
The EDA summits will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Wednesday at the Best Western Plus Emerald Beach Resort on St. Thomas; and Friday at The Palms at Pelican Cove on St. Croix,
The EDA encourages those who attended the Tourism Department's recent annual small hotels conference to also attend one of these information-oriented meetings, according to a statement from EDA Chief Executive Officer Percival Clouden.
The summits’ focus will be on financing available through several of EDA’s loan programs designed to assist small hotel operators in enhancing and upgrading their properties, one of which is the State Small Business Credit Initiative program, more commonly known as SSBCI, which is administered through local banks.
“When we help the territory’s small businesses, including our small hotels, we are helping ourselves, for the jobs that they are able to create or retain will translate into additional revenues for the local treasury and, hence, a better standard of living for all," Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a statement issued by EDA.
Monique Greenwood, a successful bed and breakfast entrepreneur and bestselling author, will give the keynote address. Greenwood is the owner of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns, a collection of five historic bed and breakfast inns located in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Cape May, N.J.; Washington, D.C.; and most recently the Mansion at Noble Lane, a boutique resort and spa on 22 acres in Pennsylvania’s Poconos Mountains.
The lineup of expert guest speakers includes Colette Anderson, president of Anderson Plus Associates Inc., and James Hanna II, a certified architect who is also a principal at Lessard Design.
The keynote and expert guest speakers will be joined by invited speakers from the Department of Tourism, the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association, and from several EDA divisions, including the Economic Development Commission, Enterprise Zone Commission, Small Business Development Agency and the Government Development Bank.
“This summit includes leaders and professionals of the local hotel industry, along with representatives from various industry sectors that can assist small hotel operators to grow and thrive. For this reason I am emphasizing the importance of the Small Hotels Economic Development Summit, which is a first step in that direction," Clouden said in the statement.
Following the morning presentations attendees will participate in interactive roundtable discussions. They will also have an opportunity for one-on-one interactions with representatives from local financial institutions, as well as from related hospitality and hotel auxiliary services.
To register for this free summit, contact Tanya Hill 773-6499 or via e-mail at email@example.com.