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VIEDA official to lead local giftware manufacturers to annual Canadian gift show in Montreal

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – August 23, 2013 – In keeping with the V.I. Economic Development Authority’s (VIEDA) initiative of exporting products by small manufacturers to foreign buyers, Project Coordinator of the USVI State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP) Nadine Marchena Kean will lead a trade mission of local giftware manufacturers from the USVI’s STEP Program to the “Fall 2013 Salon Du Cadeau De Montreal Gift Show” in Montreal. This gift show will be held at the Place Bonaventure facility in downtown Montreal from August 25-28, 2013, according to Chief Executive Officer of the VIEDA Percival E. Clouden.

At this annual gift show, attendees will be exposed to a wide variety of giftware products that were created by the USVI STEP Program’s giftware designers and manufacturers. This gift show will allow some of the participants of the USVI STEP Program to exhibit their products as they network with more than 8,000 attendees who attend this event every year. Participants at this event will include these local businesses: W-RIGHT Apiary, Soul Creations, Caribbean Herbals, Homeland Collections Portrait Gallery, LLC; and Sisterhood Agenda Enterprises, LLC. This is the first time the attendees of the Montreal Gift Show will be exposed to some of the most creative and unique giftware products made by small manufacturers from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Giftware items will include award-winning scented candles, fine art note cards, honey-made products, and much more. “This is truly an exciting time for these businesses as they represent some of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ finest manufacturers of giftware products. The USVI STEP Program has given these local small manufacturers a tremendous opportunity to share some of the best and most unique giftware items. Networking with the Canadian market at this gift show is an important step for our USVI STEP program participants who play a key role in our global giftware industry,” said Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr.

The Montreal Gift Show, one of three gift shows held in Canada, is hosted by the Canadian Gift & Tableware Association (CGTA). CGTA, a group of wholesale giftware companies that assist its retail partners, is “the pulse of Canada’s $10 billion giftware industry.”  It is “a national not-for-profit business trade association dedicated to improving members’ competitive capability and business effectiveness locally, nationally and globally.”

“This annual event is another spectacular opportunity to help our USVI STEP Program participants thrive and grow as small businesses within the giftware industry. I am especially pleased with the fact that these small manufacturers will have the opportunity to expand their export-related activities as they network with Canadian suppliers and French manufacturers during this well-attended event,” said VIEDA’s CEO Percival E. Clouden.

“The VIEDA continues to explore and broaden its outreach in our local community to support Virgin Islands small businesses and entrepreneurs who are seeking that ‘leg-up’ and ways to grow their businesses”, said VIEDA’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer / Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Nugent-Hill.

The STEP program is authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It is a three-year pilot program trade initiative that is designed to help small businesses grow, increase their exporting activities, and raise the value of the products and services. Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., has designated the VIEDA as the agency to administer the STEP program in the Territory.

To learn more about the USVI’s State Trade and Export Promotion Program, contact Marketing and PR Specialist Semele A.C. George at 340.714.1700, ext. 258. Find out more about the USVI’s STEP participants at www.usvimarketplace.com. To learn more about the Salon Du Cadeau De Montreal Gift Show, visit www.cangift.org/en/home/.

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