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U.S. Virgin Islands approved for up to $57.8 million under the State Small Business Credit Initiative Program to help local small businesses

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands – March 8, 2023 – To continue supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurship, and to expand their access to capital in the U.S. Virgin Islands through local banks, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) announces that the U.S. Virgin Islands was approved to receive up to $57.8 million in funding under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.  

The USVI is among five additional states and territories to collectively be approved a total for up to $339 million in SSBCI funds by the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently to assist small businesses in their communities.

Under the SSBCI Program in the USVI, small businesses can seek financial assistance from the following approved programs through local banks that are participants of the USVI SSBCI Program:

  1. a new Loan Participation Program (LPP) to obtain short to long-term financing to help businesses grow and expand, ultimately creating and retaining jobs.
  2. a new Loan Guarantee Program (LGP) which will provide increased guarantees for particularly impactful transactions.  
  3. a new Payment, Surety and Performance Bond Program (PSP Bond) which will provide collateral security for performance bonds for small contractors undertaking both public and private construction projects that require a surety or performance bond. 
  4. a new Collateral Support Program (CSP) to enable financing that might otherwise be unavailable due to a collateral shortfall.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our small businesses, both locally and abroad. Seeking opportunities to help our small businesses, especially those in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is always important, for both the small businesses and our economy. And with the State Small Business Credit Initiative, our small businesses can get access to the funding they need to grow, be sustained, and thrive,” said USVI Governor Albert Bryan, Jr.  “When the public and private sectors get together in commonality to serve our business community, Lt. Governor Tregenza Roach and I believe that we all win. I’d like to thank the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority, and our partners within the banking community for their partnership with the SSBCI. And as we continue to work together, we can all make big, impactful things happen to support and enrich the lives of our small businesses in the Territory,” added Governor Bryan. 

VIEDA CEO Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., embraces the opportunity for the U.S. Virgin Islands to once again participate in the SSBCI as the program has had a significant impact on assisting small businesses in the Territory.

“Since the inception of the SSBCI Program in the USVI in 2011, the VIEDA has obligated/expended more than $12.6 million in SSBCI funds for 48 loan guarantees at local banks which spurred more than $29.9 million in private sector lending, retained 499 jobs and created 224 new jobs in our Territory,” said Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., VIEDA CEO.

 

In 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury initially awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands $13,168,350 in SSBCI funds under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 through the Obama Administration. Due to the performance of the program in the USVI, second rounds of SSBCI funds in the amount of $59,561 were provided.  

                              

“As we continue to help existing and new small businesses grow, the USVI’s participation in the SSBCI will be a significant investment in our small business community and the economic development for the USVI overall,” added CEO Biggs, Jr.

 

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI, which was originally established in 2010 and was highly successful in increasing access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The new SSBCI builds on this successful model by providing nearly $10 billion to states, the District of Columbia, territories, and Tribal governments to increase access to capital and promote entrepreneurship, especially in traditionally underserved communities as they emerge from the pandemic. This includes $2.5 billion in funding and incentives to support underserved businesses. SSBCI funding is expected to catalyze up to $10 of private investment for every $1 of SSBCI capital funding, amplifying the effects of this funding and providing small business owners with the resources they need to sustainably grow and thrive.

 

The banks in the U.S. Virgin Islands currently participating in the Territory’s SSBCI Program are Banco Popular, First Bank, Merchants Commercial Bank, and Oriental Bank.

For more information about the SSBCI Program in the USVI, email the VIEDA at ssbci@usvieda.org , or visit www.usvieda.org.   

To learn more about the SSBCI, visit https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/small-business-programs/state-small-business-credit-initiative-ssbci .

*Note: A correction is made through this news release re: the funding amount for the USVI. The correct amount is $57.8 million for the USVI as opposed to the $57.5 million that was reflected in the

U.S. Department of the Treasury’s national news release. Following an alert sent by the VIEDA team, the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury’s Public Affairs Office acknowledged that the error was made on Treasury’s part as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s national news release was distributed. 

 

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