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VIEDA Board of Directors approve Economic Development Bank to offer U.S. SBA loans to USVI small businesses

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – June 22, 2020 – The Economic Development Bank (EDB), an entity of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), is the sixth lending institution in the U.S. Virgin Islands authorized to participate in distributing loans to small businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a program under the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA). This announcement was made during the public session of the VIEDA Governing Board Decision Meeting on June 9, 2020 after the VIEDA Board Directors voted to approve this decision in public session.  

The EDB joins five other USVI banks as a U.S. SBA lender partner under this program to assist local small businesses affected by the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): Bank of St. Croix, Merchants Commercial Bank, Oriental Bank, First Bank, and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico. Small businesses can apply for the PPP through the EDB at .

Small businesses may also contact their own lending institution to apply for the PPP.

According to the U.S. SBA, the PPP is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.  The U.S. SBA will forgive loans if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.  Acting VIEDA CEO Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., shares his agreement with the EDB’s involvement to assist the U.S. SBA in this program.

“In 2019, the VIEDA and the SBA signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum outlining a protocol of how both of our organizations can work and collaborate together to provide information about their resources with USVI small businesses,” said Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., acting VIEDA chief executive officer. “This reauthorization of the EDB as an SBA lender is a significant part of that ongoing alliance. As we work together to assist our local small businesses during this global pandemic, our small-business community and USVI economy can only become more resilient after this crisis,” added Acting CEO Biggs.

U.S. SBA Senior Area Manager for the U.S. Virgin Islands Wayne Huddleston, an essential partner in helping all small businesses in the Territory, looks forward to working in partnership with the EDB.

“The SBA and I appreciate the support from the VIEDA team in this endeavor,” said Senior Area Manager Wayne Huddleston. “We are especially thankful to the VIEDA for its assistance in publicizing both the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) and PPP in the Territory through their marketing and public relations efforts with news releases, webinars, radio announcements, etc., to inform our small-business owners that help is available,” added Mr. Huddleston.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which was passed by Congress in March 2020. The PPP is implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (U.S. SBA) with support from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Small-business owners are urged to contact their local SBA Lender Partner in the Territory to apply for the PPP.  

Small-business owners can visit for the most updated information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and other SBA Programs.

For technical assistance, contact the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (VI SBDC) at 340-693-1694, or by email at  The VIEDA office can also be contacted at 340-714-1700 or via email at 


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