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16 USVI Small Manufacturers Promote Their Products to Local Buyers

                            Enterprise Zone Commission Hosts its Second B2B Event to Assist Local Buyers, Small Manufacturers

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – October 28, 2016 – Local private sector buyers recently met with small manufacturers in the Territory during a Business2Business (B2B) Event held on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) to learn about potential local products that can be sold at their stores.   This is the second time this event was hosted by the Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC), an entity of the USVIEDA.  The B2B Event was held at 6PM via video conference feed between the USVIEDA office on St. Thomas and the conference room at the William D. Roebuck V.I. Economic Development Park on St. Croix.

This event was designed exclusively to help local private sector buyers connect with 16 small manufacturers in the USVI.    This also allowed the buyers to network, foster relationships and meet one-on-one with the small manufacturers who provided product explanations and samples that were on display at the event.  The EZC collaborated with seven (7) local buyers who were interested in meeting with local small manufacturers to purchase and sell their products at their business.

This activity was also held during National Manufacturing Month in October.  National Manufacturing Month expanded from National Manufacturing Day, a day that was first proclaimed in 2014 by U.S. President Barack Obama.  Within five years of the day’s first observance, National Manufacturing Day was expanded into one month of nationwide efforts to draw a greater focus on the manufacturing sector.

“It is certainly a pleasure for the USVIEDA to be able to assist local small manufacturers in their efforts to market their products to potential V.I. buyers,” said USVIEDA Acting Chief Executive Officer Wayne L. Biggs, Jr.  The B2B Event is a tremendous opportunity to inspire targeted business relationships and conversations among its participants,” said Acting CEO Biggs.

To organize the event, the EZC collaborated with the prospective buyers who selected the local small manufacturers from a list of manufacturers they received from the EZC.  As a result, the local manufacturers from St. Thomas and St. Croix were invited to participate.   The buyers considered, or committed to, purchasing products from the small manufacturers to be sold at their business.

At the beginning of the event, each buyer was introduced to the attendees by Nadine T. Marchena Kean, the director of Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC).  All of the buyers were primarily interested in utilizing space within their businesses to promote and sell locally-made products from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The small manufacturers represented the industries of fashion, skincare and beauty, health and wellness products, accessories, scented candles, tea, food, dolls, literature, and photography.

The small manufacturers also learned about programs offered by the EZC, V.I. Economic Development Commission (VIEDC), and the Economic Development Bank (EDB); and scheduled appointments with the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC).

To learn more about the B2B Event, contact Nadine T. Marchena Kean at 340-714-1700.     For more information about the USVIEDA, contact the USVIEDA office on St. Croix at 340-773-6499 or on St. Thomas at 340-714-1700 or visit  www.usvieda.org.

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